Thinking (again) about the sequential art (comics) workshop

Its been a long minute that this post has sat in a draft form in my dashboard, 2 years in fact. There wasn’t even really much written here just the bunch of links below and some half baked intentions, but having recently gone back to scan all the pages of one specific sketchbook (for another upcoming post who knows how long that one will take) it just so happened to include the pages from the Comic book workshop I took with Scott McCloud, also over 2 years ago in Lethbridge Alberta. Regardless, the pages are now finally scanned and I can share them here, as well as the the myriad of thoughts they have stirred up.

There a four pages included in this comics workshop summary, I will add a few more thoughts to each page, but in general this was an amazing learning experience which I often reminisce  and draw from in my own work. I was not surprised to find out that a former student of Scotss had gone on to create the RSA animate series after being so inspired by these sessions. I totally get it.  Going over these notes again however has brought back a few things that I missed, or in some cases, have new context for understanding. So 2 years on I am still learning from these sessions. There was not much else written up about this experience but I was lucky to find one other blogged reflection which I will point to as needed.

Keynote lecture – “The Changing face of comics” The event started off the night before with a mini lecture from Scott to kick off the Nerdfest which the workshop was billed under. He made the case that stories are everywhere and also that anyone can both DRAW and WRITE.

Day 1 – A full day of theory and practice, Scott had us do several comic making exercises considering the balance between clarity and intensity. I should dig out the other work we did here, but there was also home work which I have previously posted. .

Day 2 – A great critique to start off the day, reminded me how valuable this pedagogy can be in creative work if done well, and Scott is a master. Image and word are “flip sides of the same coin” but the choice of when to use one or the other is a question I still ask myself today.

Summary – A few weeks later I had a a crack at doing a visual summary to try and get ready to do this blog post. I like the notion that comics is like “writing with pictures” , something I can relate to in terms of my own visual practice such as sketchnoting and graphic facilitation. There are stories EVERYWHERE and people are hardwired for them.  Simply putting a frame around them allows us to share the stories that have meaning to us.


Emily Carroll –

Drawing the Head and Hands – on amazon

The Artist’s Complete Guide to Facial Expression – on amazon

Flood! – Eric Drooker

Story telling conference –

Interesting comic maker with pixel art –

Words – radiolab


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