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Make the Comics!

November 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog, Make the Comics, Workshops and Events

I’m thrilled to announce a new public event for cartoonists in the Ann Arbor Area!

On December 8, 2011 from 5-8 pm Roos Roast Coffee Works will be hosting as many cartoonists as they can fit into their new space for a caffeinated drink-and-draw! If we can get enough cartoonists to turn out for this, I’d love to make it a monthly event.

Updates about the event will be updated in this site’s category, and I’m still undecided whether I should make a Facebook or Google+ page for the event.

More updates to come, but for now, mark your calendars for 5-8pm December 8, at Roos Roast!

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Youth and Teen Graphic Novel Academy!

November 3, 2011 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 January 17 and run through March 06, 2012
Teen classes begin on January 18 and run through March 07, 2012
Click here to register!

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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AADL Comic Artists Forum November 6!

October 23, 2011 by  
Filed under Workshops and Events

The Ann Arbor Comic Artists Forum is back to its monthly schedule, and the next session is at 1:00 pm November 6, 2011!

These free sessions are an opportunity to connect with fellow cartoonists in the area, share what you’ve been working on, and get treated to a presentation by a special guest cartoonist. It’s a terrific event with an open, positive atmosphere. Whatever your level of experience, as long as you love making comics, I can assure you that you’ll find something of interest at these sessions.

This time our guest speaker will be Joe Foo of Desmond’s Comic. Joe will answer the question: What makes a good character? using classic comics characters to draw parallels to designs from his own comics.

No registration necessary, but you can get more info on the Ann Arbor District Library website.

Check out Joe at work during the Kids Read Comics Extravaganza this past March:

Hope to see you there!


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Photoshop Elements Online Workshop

October 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Workshops and Events

On December 5, 2011 at 6 pm ET I’ll be leading an online edition of my Coloring in Adobe Photoshop Elements workshop! In this course you’ll follow along as I share the techniques I use to color my comics, followed by a chance for you to get your hands dirty coloring your own images (or a provided sample).

And the good news is you don’t have to use the full Adobe Design Suite to get started. I’ll be showing you how to do professional-grade coloring in the Adobe Photoshop Elements software bundled with most Wacom graphics tablets, or available for $80 or less. You can download a demo from the Adobe site.

As many have pointed out to me, the demo videos I share on YouTube are helpful, but nothing beats hands-on experiences with the instructor there to help you when you’re stuck. And since there are a zillion ways to do anything in Photoshop, we can explore alternate methods that might work better for you.

Registration is required, and be sure to check out the system requirements page to make sure you can participate!

And here’s a video of the stuff we’ll be covering in the workshop:

Write With Images ONLINE!

October 10, 2011 by  
Filed under Workshops and Events

Whenever I announce a new comics workshop on my site, I get at least a handful of comments from folks outside of the Southeast Michigan area who wish I could bring my classes to their area. Well, now I can! Now that the Lean Into Art online art center project is underway, I will be offering comics workshops there every month.

From 6-8 pm ET on December 3, 2011, I’ll be leading my Write With Images workshop online. I’ve taught this class to over 2,000 kids and adults this year, and it always gets people excited about making comics. It’s an overview of the special storytelling advantages comics has over other media, followed by some storytelling strategies, and concludes with a drawing exercise that will get you making your own comic right there on the spot.

You can get a preview of the workshop here:

All you will need is a paper and pencil for the drawing portion of the workshop, but you may also want to check out the Lean Into Art system requirements page in order to see if you can participate in the live video chat.

If you’re already sold on the idea, you can jump right to the registration page!

If you’re reading this before November 1, it’s not too late to check out the big 30 Classes in 30 Days event happening at Lean Into Art, where we’re leading a visual storytelling workshop every day during the month of November!

Teens Make Comics Panel

October 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Workshops and Events

I hope you can join us at the Mallets Creek branch of the Ann Arbor District Library October 18, 2011 from 7-8:30 pm for a special comics event. We’re assembling some of the brightest teen comics creators in the Ann Arbor area for a talk on publishing your own comics before the age of 18, and how it’s never been easier to participate in our beloved medium!

This event will be recorded and released as a special episode of the Comics Are Great! podcast, so everyone will get a chance to hear what will be a fun discussion, but you have to attend in person if you want to be a part of the conversation live. More information on the Ann Arbor District Library website.

Check out the Kids Read Comics podcast episode 5 to hear a conversation I had with some of these kids back in March.


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Open Photoshop Labs!

October 7, 2011 by  
Filed under Workshops and Events

I’m super excited to announce that the Ann Arbor District Library has instituted an additional monthly session of the Comic Artists Forum! In these follow-up sessions, they’re opening up their lab full of Macintosh computers, equipped with the latest edition of Adobe Photoshop Elements, so you can come in and get a chance to clean up your work and apply some digital colors. They’ll even have a scanner handy in case you don’t have one at home.

The first session will run on October 16, 2011 from 1-3 pm at the Downtown AADL branch. I’ll be present during this lab to help anyone who is new to Adobe Photoshop with some tips that have helped me in my own comics work. More information here.

Want a primer on coloring in Photoshop before you arrive? Check out this hour-long video tutorial on how I color my work:


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Hey Comics! Workshop Series

September 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Workshops and Events

The school year has begun, and my workshop schedule is filling up! Lots of exciting comics events happening this fall in Michigan.

Starting October 1st, 2011 I’ll be launching a new workshop series for ages 11-18 at the Brighton District Library called Hey Comics! In this three-part series we’ll explore character design, world building, knitting ideas into a story, and how to express all of this information visually in our own comic books.

Seating is limited! You can register by calling 810-229-6571 x227. More information on the Brighton District Library website.


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

Two New Workshops at 826 Michigan

September 15, 2011 by  
Filed under Workshops and Events

I’m happy to announce that I will be leading two brand-new comics workshops this fall at 826 Michigan!

Headline Mash-up
Ages: 8-11, 15 students
Monday, November 28, 6-7:30pm (one session)
Register

Ideas are easy to come by—the hard part is turning them into a story! In this interactive workshop, you will be presented with three random headlines from the newspaper, and you’ll select three random objects. Your challenge? To combine these elements into an eight-page mini-comic! This workshop provides a fun, improvisational storytelling experience—you’ll be surprised with what you create.

Sequences & Consequences
Ages: 12-15, 15 students
Wednesday, November 30, 6-7:30pm (one session)
Register

Learn how the tone and plot of your comics story can change through a simple rearrangement of elements! In this interactive workshop you will create a comic on a series of 3×5” index cards. You will then change the sequence of panels to create a new way of looking at the story, or discover an entirely new narrative.

Hope to see you there!


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

30 Classes in 30 Days!

September 13, 2011 by  
Filed under News, Workshops and Events

This November I’ll be participating in a rather ambitious online event called 30 Classes in 30 Days!

Every day during the month of November 2011, I’ll be joined by a host of fantastic teaching artists to lead hands-on workshops, time-shifted courses, and presentations over on the Lean Into Art site. We’ll be covering topics such as digital coloring, storytelling theory, drawing technique, and even sound design. If you’ve ever wanted to attend one of my comics workshops but were limited by time or distance, this is the event to attend.

You can check out a preview of what to expect here:

Early bird registration for the event closes on September 23 2011, and seats are limited, so sign up soon!

More information on the 30 Classes page.

Can’t be a part of it, but would like to help? You can tell your friends by linking to the event. Just use the banners below! And thanks for supporting Lean Into Art!

 

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