Comics Crash Course
Secrets of Great Stories
What is your favorite story? Chances are, it has great characters in it. Heroes, villains, friends, allies. But characters alone don't make a story. To thrill your readers, you need your characters to do interesting things. Perhaps they pursue a dream against long odds. Or solve a mystery. Or find a cure for a mysterious disease that has brought the entire world to a halt (just hypothetically). Today, you will learn the secrets to composing your own stories.
what you’ll need
- A computer, tablet, or mobile phone and access to the internet
- Pens, crayons, markers, or colored pencils
- Plenty of blank paper (can be blank, lined, or graph paper)
- A printer (optional)
Ask About Today
How are movies and comics related? What can you learn about one from the other?
Sometimes comics become movies. But movies could become comics, too. Which movie would you love to see in comic form? Why?
Skip the Ads
Unfortunately, online videos often start with short advertisements. Remind your campers to click the "Skip" button as soon as they can to move ahead to the video.
Advice from a Comic Mastermind
Stan Lee was the legendary comic book author who created some of the world's most beloved superheroes, including Spiderman, the X-Men, Iron Man, and the Hulk. Watch this video to hear his advice to young comic book writers and other authors about storytelling and character creation.
Remember: Online videos often start with advertisements. (Annoying, we agree!) Click the "Skip" button as soon as you can to move ahead to the video.
Three Keys to a Great Story
In today's video with Jarrett, we will learn the three keys to telling a great story. As you watch, think about how some of the best stories of all-time, from The Wizard of Oz to Coco, embody the traits Jarrett is describing.
Feel free to draw along with the video, or pause it to practice as you go!
Use this Character Maker activity sheet to create your own character. It can be anything you dream up - not just a person but an object, animal, or plant, for instance. Practice drawing your character in different backgrounds, using different expressions. Decide which expression best defines your character. Which one would be on the cover of your book? (Use your list of emotions from Tuesday if you need some ideas!).
Share your work! We'd love to see it. Ask a parent to email a photo to us or share it on Instagram or Twitter by tagging @CampKinda.
Drawing with Milo
Ta-Nehisi Coates on Creating Black Superheroes
For a long time, the faces of most comic-book superheroes were those of white men, like Superman, the Flash, and Thor. In this interview, author Ta-Nehisi Coates reflects on Black superheroes, writing the new Black Panther series, and the comics and stories he liked reading as a kid.
For younger explorers
The Big Wet Balloon
"Today is Saturday, and there are so many things we can do!" Read along with Matilda and Clemmie.
One Line Drawings
Drawings are just collections and arrangements of lines. There can a surprising amount of power in a single line! Click the button to look at this page of Line Drawings. Notice that they are all made using a single line. Figure out how to draw some other things using just one line. (Don't get frustrated -- it may take many attempts to figure a drawing out!)
Workout with the Avengers
Ready to move like an Avenger? This workout will show you how.
more to explore
Captain Marvel's Mom
Meet Kelly Sue DeConnick, the comic book writer (and mom) rewriting old stories and bringing new life to some of our favorite comic book heroes, like Captain Marvel.
The Shape of Our Thoughts
Want to further explore how comics work? Check out Nick Sousanis's "The Shape of Our Thoughts."