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Course Catalog

The Mechanics of Comics and Graphic Novels

Learn to develop and strengthen the storytelling skills used to create successful comics and graphic novels. A cartoonist faces choices about composition, point of view, emphasis, symbols, poses, and other aspects of visual communication. We’ll look at examples from masters of comics and cartoons while exploring different aspects of the medium through a variety of exercises and assignments. Each student will generate multiple short pieces from which we’ll assemble a photocopied class anthology at the end of the four weeks. Note: For this class, drawing ability is not as important as the desire to communicate your ideas clearly.

Instructor: David Lasky, Greg Stump

Class Type: 6 Sessions

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Start Date: 09/19/2015

End Date: 10/24/2015

Days of the Week: Saturday

Time: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Minimum Class Size: 5

Maximum Class Size: 15

$220.50 Member Price:
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$245.00 General Price:

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David Lasky, Greg Stump

David Lasky has been a published comics artist since 1989. His earliest success was a nine page mini-adaptation of James Joyce’s Ulysses (self-published), which was reviewed in the Washington Post’s “Bookworld” section in 1992. In the 90’s he became known for the solo comic Boom Boom, and then collaborated with Greg Stump on the Harvey-nominated Urban Hipster. His stories have appeared in countless anthologies over the years, including Kramers Ergot and Best American Comics. He has been an integral part of the Seattle comics scene, working at Fantagraphics in the late 90’s, volunteering at ZAPP, being a part of cartoonists groups such as Friends of the Nib, and contributing to The Intruder. David was also an early contributor to The Stranger, and as a freelancer has continued to create comics and illustrations for the weekly paper for over 20 years. With writer Frank Young, he co-created two graphic novels: Oregon Trail: Road to Destiny and The Carter Family: Don’t Forget This Song (Abrams). Carter Family won an Eisner Award (the comics industry’s equivalent to the Oscar) in 2013, in the category of Best Reality-Based Graphic Novel.
David has also been a graphic novel instructor at Richard Hugo House and various other venues in the Seattle area. Through Arts Corps, he taught after-school classes to elementary school students from 2008 to 2014. In 2013, he represented the United States at comics festivals in Serbia and Russia.

Teaching Philosophy: Creating comics is a powerful communication skill that anyone can learn, no matter their drawing ability.

Writers I return to: Art Spiegelman, Robert Crumb, Stacey Levine, James Joyce.

Favorite writing advice: Don't wait to get permission from anyone to create, just do it. You'll figure things out as you go.

Greg Stump was a regular contributor for more than a decade to The Comics Journal (as a journalist and critic) and The Stranger (as a cartoonist and illustrator). His work in comics includes the weekly strip Dwarf Attack and the comic book series Urban Hipster, a co-creation with David Lasky that was nominated for a Harvey and Ignatz award. Most recently, Fantagraphics released his graphic novel debut Disillusioned Illusions in 2015 through the publisher's FU Press imprint. An adjunct lecturer at Seattle University and a writer-in-residence for Seattle Arts & Lectures, he has been teaching comics to students of all ages for close to two decades.

Past Student Feedback:
"I thought both David and Greg were awesome instructors. They made it a fun class."

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