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Fall Graphic Novel Academy for Kids and Teens

August 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Workshops and Events

Registration is now open for the winter session of my Youth and Teen Graphic Novel Academy workshop series at the Ann Arbor Art Center!

An 8-week course in making comics! Learn how to use 4 common tools in cartooning (shape, size, line, and color) to create characters readers will believe in, worlds they will love to explore, and stories they will never forget.

Throughout the 8 weeks we will play with various formats such as mini-comics, serialized comics, and graphic novels. You’ll get to try your hand at using many of the materials used by comics professionals. And every week will conclude with a game designed to boost your creativity!

Youth classes begin on September 25 and run through November 13, 2012
Teen classes begin on September 26 and run through November 14, 2012

Registration is required, and the deadline is September 17, 2012!

You can check out a preview of what my classes look like by watching the video below:

Want to know more about my future workshops and presentations? Check out the calendar in the sidebar or sign up for email updates!


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Graphicon at ALA Annual!

June 13, 2012 by  
Filed under Blog, Workshops and Events

June 22-24 I’ll be exhibiting in the Artist Alley at this year’s American Library Association Annual Conference in Anaheim, California! You’ll be able to find me at booth 575 in the Graphic Novel/Gaming Pavilion, surrounded by incredible artists like:

  • Chris Giarrusso
  • Matt Dembicki
  • Faith Erin Hicks
  • Raina Telgemeier & Dave Roman
  • Chris Schweizer
  • Gene Luen Yang, Derek Kirk Kim, & Thien Pham
  • Mark Siegel
  • Alexis E. Fajardo
  • Darren J. Gendron
  • Lark Pien & Jen Wang
  • Anthony Del Col / Kill Shakespeare
  • Dan Santat
  • Tom Kaczynski & Gabrielle Bell
  • Jacob Chabot

Man, what a lineup!

I’ll be giving away bookmarks (pictured right) with a link to a PDF download of my entire 197-page graphic novel, The Front: Rebirth and a 64-page series of lesson plans to start up a comics workshop whether or not you know how to draw.

(and I’ll also be selling my books and doing sketches)

But I’m also participating in a mess of panels/events during the conference! Here are the ones I’ve committed to so far (full list of events here):

Friday

  • 6:30-7:00 pm The Ultimate Iron Artist Tournament

Sunday

  • 9:30-10:00 am – Kids Read Comics Panel
  • 3:00-4:00 – Comics Quickfire! (Dave Roman’s awesome drawing game show)
  • 4:30-5:00 – 3 Acts in 3 Panels: A Comics Workshop for Your School or Library (Reading with Pictures)

Monday

  • 11:00-11:30 – Making Comics Come Alive: A Workshop for Your School or Library (Reading with Pictures)
  • 11:30-12:30 – Graphic Novel Open Forum

I also plan on doing some audio and video updates from the show with pal Dave Roman, with whom I’ve recently launched a podcast about kids’ comics. If you can’t make it to ALA , you can follow our Twitter feed for some fun play-by-plays from the show.

Really looking forward to visiting California again, and excited about this conference. If you’re in the area, I hope you’ll stop by and say hello!

 

Kids Read Comics Celebration Cross-Cultural Comics Exchange!

April 30, 2012 by  
Filed under Workshops and Events

Mark your calendars for 5-8 pm May 7, 2012! The Kids Read Comics Celebration is going to play host to the first-ever KRCC Cross-Cultural Comics Exchange (or KRCCCCCE)!

A group of Australian cartoonists will be passing through the SE Michigan area, and they agreed to make a stop in Ann Arbor to meet up with area cartoonists for some drawing and conversation. We’ll be joined by:

Roos Roast has generously offered us their studio space for the meetup. It’s the best coffee in town, and a terrific meeting space, so a good time is sure to be had!

Local cartoonists and writers, I hope you’ll come out to show our Aussie brethren some American cartooning hospitality! Bring your favorite drawing supplies and let’s make some comics international style!


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Big Weekend of Comics Events!

April 19, 2012 by  
Filed under Workshops and Events

FREE COMIC BOOK DAY is nearly here, and there will be a ton of things for comics lovers to do that weekend!

First up, we have another edition of my Family Comic Jam happening at the Ann Arbor District Library May 5, 2012 from 9 am-12 pm. In this hands-on workshop, you’ll learn how a cartoonist uses shape, size and line to write with images. Then each family will divide up into a team consisting of a writer, artist, and letterer, switching between jobs with every page. The result is an improvisational cartoon story you create together!

And hey–local comics store The Vault of Midnight will be there giving away free comics!

After that I’ll be leading some hands-on mini-workshops at Green Brain Comics in Dearborn, MI during their Free Comic Book Day Celebration. They’ll be open from 10 am to 8 pm on May 5. Stop on by to get some free comics and sketches from local cartoonists!

Not in the SE Michigan area? You can use the handy store locator on the FCBD site to see where Free Comic Book Day is happening in your area.

Then from 1-3 pm Sunday, May 6, we’ll have another free edition of the Ann Arbor Comic Artists Forum! Come out to the 4th floor meeting room at Ann Arbor District Library Downtown Branch to meet up with local cartoonists, share your work, and participate in a demonstration by cartoonist Gale Williams. Gale will be showing us how she digitally “flats” her comics, that is to say, applies the base colors for rendering in Adobe Photoshop.

Not sure what “flatting” is? Check out this video tutorial I did on digital coloring:

As ever, there’s lots of things to do in SE Michigan for comics enthusiasts!

Absolute Con-Sense

March 16, 2012 by  
Filed under Workshops and Events

Only a week or so left to sign up for Tyler James’s new online workshop, Absolute Con-Sense!

From the workshop description:

Comic Conventions can be a great opportunity to sell your products, build your fanbase, and network with your peers. However, when approached the wrong way, they can also be stressful, unprofitable time sinks that make you question whether or not they’re worth the trouble. Well, they are, and in this workshop, Tyler James will offer 50 clear, actionable strategies for making cons work for you. Whether you’re getting ready to attend your first convention, or you’ve been on the con circuit a while and feel like you’re not seeing the returns you would like, this workshop is for you.

With convention season is right around the corner, Absolute Con-Sense will help you make this your best convention year yet.

Anyone familiar with my podcasting work has no doubt heard me grumble about how difficult (and sometimes painful) conventions can be. When you figure in the following costs:

  • Travel expenses (gas, air fare)
  • Table registration fees
  • Hotel fees
  • Food
  • Materials (printing books, promotional materials, table setup)

Even attending a modest convention can cost you $1,000. So I’m very excited about Tyler’s workshop, where he’ll share some hard-won wisdom on how to maximize your experience and get the most bang for your buck. I really wish I had something like this when I was first getting into conventioning!

The live class is scheduled for March 28 at 9pm ET, but all registrations will also receive a recording of the session to enjoy at your convenience. So even if you can’t make it to the live event, you can still benefit from this awesome workshop!

Check out a preview of the workshop, chock full of great tips already, here:

Spring Youth and Teen Graphic Novel Academy!

March 16, 2012 by  
Filed under Workshops and Events

Registration is now open for the winter session of my Youth and Teen Graphic Novel Academy workshop series at the Ann Arbor Art Center!

In this 8-week course, we’ll explore a soup-to-nuts approach to creating a graphic novel. We’ll study character design, world building, theme development, composition, and other various storytelling principles in comics. Sprinkled throughout the series are a bunch of mini-lessons to boost creativity and broaden the students’ visual vocabulary.

I chronicled one of the lessons I use in this workshop series (and included a PDF lesson plan so you can try it at home) on my teaching podcast, Fabulous Secrets.

Youth classes begin on April 10 and run through June 05, 2012
Teen classes begin on April 11 and run through June 06, 2012

Last term my Youth class filled up and had a waiting list, so register now to save your space!

You can check out a preview of what my classes look like by watching the video below:

Want to know more about my future workshops and presentations? Check out the calendar in the sidebar or sign up for email updates!


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Family Comic Jam!

January 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Workshops and Events

I’m very excited to announce that I’ll be leading a comics workshop for the whole family at the University of Michigan Museum of Art 1-4 pm on January 28!

In this hands-on workshop, you’ll learn how a cartoonist uses shape, size and line to write with images. Then each family will divide up into a team consisting of a writer, artist, and letterer, switching between jobs with every page. The result is an improvisational cartoon story you create together!

I’m always grateful to see parents participating with kids in my classrooms. It not only fosters a deeper appreciation for their child’s interest in comics–it also reveals to the adults that comics is a unique medium with special storytelling abilities, which I always hope will lead them to their local comics store or library to try out some comics for themselves. So this is all to say that I’m excited about this new workshop, and hope those of you in the Ann Arbor area will register for what I promise will be a fun event!

Register here through the Ann Arbor Art Center!

Wondering what to expect? Check out this talk I did at Ignite Great Lakes last year!


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Online Comics Workshops

December 21, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Workshops and Events

I’m excited to announce that the Lean Into Art workshops store is open!

Rob Stenzinger and I have put together 18 different bundles of workshop videos to choose from, ranging from classes on making mini-comics, storytelling theory, illustration, Photoshop and Illustrator tutorials, and even workshops on UI Design and developing videogames from your comic.

There’s nearly 40 hours of instructional material to choose from, and each purchased download grants lifetime access to the Lean Into Art private forums, where you can post your assignments for review and follow-up from the instructors.

(I might even suggest that, since these are downloads available within 24 hours of purchase, they might make for a dynamite last-minute gift for a cartoonist or storyteller in your life, even if that happens to be you)

Here are the links to my workshops:

FTAM! Creating Sound in Comics workshop

December 6, 2011 by  
Filed under Workshops and Events

I’m really excited to announce that registration is open for my new online workshop on creating sound elements in Adobe Illustrator!

In this multi-session course (which amounts to 6 hours of programming) you’ll learn how I choose my fonts, design my word balloons from scratch, design sound elements such as sound effects, and integrate them all into my comics pages.

A good sense of sound design is just as important in comics as it is in film. This is yet another layer that the cartoonist can use to put their idiosyncratic stamp on the work, as well as an opportunity to create a sense of rhythm to one’s story.

You can participate in the live workshops on January 7, 11, and 14, but you’re also welcome to participate in a time-shifted manner, with plenty of assignment review and follow-up in a private forum.

This is easily one of my favorite subjects of study, so you can expect an exciting and fun experience.

Registration is required, and live seats are limited!

You can check out a preview of the workshop here:

The Download!

November 11, 2011 by  
Filed under Workshops and Events

Attention learning enthusiasts! From 11:00 am to 3:30 pm on Friday, November 18, 2011, you can check out a bunch of free workshops at the TorranceLearning Download in Chelsea, MI. I went last year and it was a really fun and informal event with lots of great info for anyone who is interested in learning more about how technology and visual communication is being used in educational situations. Looking forward to this year’s event.

I’ll be leading a new variation of my Writing With Images workshop as an interactive presentation that ties comics storytelling techniques to a broader array of visual communication, too!

You can join their Facebook group for more info, and register for the event via Eventbrite. More on The Download’s history and mission here.

Hope to see you there!


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