RISD Summer Programs course- The Graphic Novel: Creating Your Story

The Graphic Novel: Creating Your Story

Graphic novels have never been a more popular storytelling medium for conveying all sorts of tales; memoir, superhero, fairy tales, social justice and political satire are powerfully construed through the medium of comic illustration. In this course students develop an understanding of the idioms of the comics form, incrementally acquiring the skills needed to tell long-form stories as a means of personal expression. Character development, plot, storyline and settings are covered to learn how to give clarity and meaning in sequential form. Lectures, discussions and deconstructions of classic comics help students understand cultural reference, intended audiences (child, young adult, adult) and historical significance. The basics of panel layout, lettering and inking are covered with an emphasis on developing personal style and nuance through significant amounts of drawing and redrawing to home in on your idea. An introduction to publishing and industry standards is covered. Students come away with a fully realized, sketched-out plan and script for a full-length graphic novel, as well as some finished pages. Basic drawing skills and basic understanding of Photoshop suggested. Students unfamiliar with Photoshop may find it helpful to take an online tutorial prior to the class.

Artwork by Kern Lee

RISD degree students: This course offers 3 transfer credits with pre-approval from your department head using the “Transfer Credit Prior Approval for Major/Non Major Credit” form, found on the Registrar’s Office Forms page. Submit the signed form to the Registrar’s office and then complete the online course registration.

Course #9102
Paul Karasik

Schedule A
June 21–July 27, 2021 (no class July 5)
Mondays + Tuesdays, 10 am–1 pm ET
Online, Live

Tuition $2,300
3 Credits



Paul Karasik

Two-time Eisner Award-winning cartoonist Paul Karasik studied at the School of Visual Arts with master cartoonists Will Eisner, Harvey Kurtzman and Art Spiegelman. His groundbreaking transformation (co-created with RISD alumnus David Mazzucchelli) of the Paul Auster novel City of Glass into a graphic novel has been translated into more than 20 foreign editions. The Comics Journal called his book How to Read Nancy (co-written with Mark Newgarden), “the best book ever written about comics.” With his sister, Judy, he created The Ride Together: A Brother and Sister’s Memoir of Autism in the Family, winner of the Autism Society of America’s “Best Literary Work of the Year.”

Karasik has taught cartooning classes at RISD, the School of Visual Arts, Boston University, Princeton University, and The Center for Cartoon Studies and has given workshops all over the world, including at EESI in Angoulême, France; TAW in Viborg, Denmark; and the Scuola Internazionale di Comics in Florence, Italy. His cartoons appear in The New Yorker.

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