One of the things that I mentioned about my move to NC was a desire to focus on my art. Particularly in ways that I hadn't really pursued strongly enough back in NY. So it was great to receive an email from Joy, who heads up a group from the Blumenthal Performing Arts, asking if I'd be available to teach a class on how to make a graphic novel. A play based on the graphic novel Fun Home was coming to Charlotte, and Joy thought the group would like to see how books like this were put together. This sounded like a lot of fun(for me, and hopefully for the group), so I put together a plan that Joy quickly got behind.
"Take a page from Fun Home, and break it down into a basic script(how many panels on the page, what is happening in each panel).Discuss in the group a quick overview of how panels are arranged on a page in general(which panel should be biggest and why, the importance of the order of the panels). This will include a quick q&a on some graphic novel terminology(establishing shot, close up), which I usually do by referencing movie and TV shots.Discuss in the group the brief page script and work to understand what's important to show and why.At this point, it's time to hand out paper and markers for everyone to start laying out THEIR page. I'll walk and interact with the group individually over probably 20-30min to help them with any questions they'd have.Everyone tapes their page on the wall for a group critique next to a copy of the actual page. We can then discuss why the artist made the choices that were made, and they can compare it to the choices that they made."
So, if you want to play along, here is the script page...
What I wanted to try to do in the 1 1/2hrs is give as wide a range as possible of what to expect with a script. Each panel becomes more descriptive and specific and then KABLAMM it's all up to the artist to make the last panel work.
This guy has the right idea on how to get started.
I walked the group through the script, keeping in mind to make sure I got people involved(reading parts of the script out loud and asking/answering some questions that they had).
After about 40min, it was time for pencils down! I got a few brave volunteers to let me put their pages up...
So....how'd they do? Holyfuck, I did not expect everyone to get into this as much as they did! People worked on their own/in groups and put a lot into their page. And I was super psyched to see all of the personal touches in terms of "decorating" the house interiors. This was a blast for me, and it looked like everyone had some fun.
And are you ready to see what the artist did for her book?
How did you do?