Backblog 3: CCS Workshops

Sun 7/22/2007

Last but not least, I was up at The Center For Cartoon Studies this whole past week, co-teaching some of their awesome summer workshops!

My fellow instructors were Aaron Renier and Robyn Chapman. We had all worked together last year for three days of the workshop, but this year we had all five days to design our own curriculum, which was great. I feel like we had learned a lot last year and things really went smoothly this time around.

Monday we did a lot of introduction exercises. Each student interviewed another student and drew a one-page comic about it. Then Robyn, Aaron and I talked a bit about our Comics and showed some examples of things we had worked on. That afternoon we split the class up into three teams and they cycled through a series of production lectures and demos. I focused on penciling, Aaron focused on inking and Robyn focused on using reference when drawing Comics.

Tuesday we used the teams again to cover a whole SLEW of topics! I did Backgrounds and Writing for Comics, Aaron did Character Design and "Nuts and Bolts" and Robyn did Pacing and Acting for Comics.

After loading everyone's minds up with Comics knowledge, we let it explode all over the page the next day. We drew for the entire day on Wednesday, doing another Connect The Plot adventure and then a loosely-connected collection of Ghost Stories.

Thursday we had a production day, where we looked at tons and tons of awesome minicomics and zines and then put together our books that we had drawn the day before. Robyn really went all-out on the covers this year! She taught a bunch of the students how to screenprint AND how to do gocco prints, both of which they used on the cover of "Journey to Space Rock City" (2-color screenprinted cover, 3rd color gocco print on the back, with stamp) and they also screen printed the title on the Ghost Stories cover (white ink on light purple paper), which Aaron and I had drawn earlier in the day.

Friday we read our new comic books and did a mini-critique and then drew some autobio comics about our week at CCS! I was super impressed with the work this year and I made some new friends, which is always great. :)

All the work stuff aside, it was totally amazing being up at CCS again. It is very strange to live in a small community packed with Cartoonists. We got to hang out with James Sturm and Gabby and T. Edward Bok (the new CCS fellow!) and all kinds of other awesome, talented people.

Also, I got to make a small trip up to Montpelier Tuesday night to see my sister Galen who was randomly in Vermont during the same week for her low-residency graduate degree program (in Children's Literature). Also Charlotte's best friend Lindsey came over from Quechee to hang out with me on Thursday night. ALSO, Aaron and I ate massive amounts of really cheap, really good ice cream almost EVERY night! Man oh man, I can't wait until I come back up to the school again!

But for now, I'm off to Seattle for a week-long visit to see my family and friends. I leave at 5am tomorrow morning and I'm still trying to get my life back in order after a week away and two days in Harry Potter Hibernation! I better get back to it... More soon from the beautiful Pacific Northwest!

3 comments on this entry

have a grand trip, glad the workshop went so well... I really am going to try to attend next year.

Jewett Jul23

P.S. John posted a BUNCH of pictures from the workshop over in his Flickr account!

Alec Jul24

That week of CCS classes you guys taught, was amazing!
I learned an insane amount of information about creating comics in such a short time.
You guys rock!!

Kyle Jul24

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