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