Comics Crash Course
Tell Your Own Story
This week, you've gained some new comic super-powers: Drawing skills, comic techniques, and storytelling savvy. You know how to create expressive characters. You know how to organize them into comic panels. You know how your panels can build a compelling tale that takes readers on a journey. It's time to put it all together and script and illustrate your own graphic stories. Let the world know what you have to say!
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
What are the essential aspects of every story? How can you use the concept of a roller coaster to think about stories?
A great story needs a character who wants something and encounters obstacles in getting it. What is the best example of a story that follows that simple structure?
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.
DC and Marvel Differences
In our last day of Comic Week, we walk through the differences of DC and Marvel, the two powerhouses of comics. As you learn the differences and similarities, think about a third powerhouse—the one that YOU can create and bring to the world of comics! We are counting on you.
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.
What Makes a Great Story?
As you prepare to tell your own stories, pay a visit to Darius Britt, who shares what makes a great story, from Iron Man to the Little Mermaid
Conflict in a story doesn't have to be super-sized. The problem isn't aways a giant monster or evil supervillain, and the main character isn't always a muscular superhero. Stories about outcasts and regular people can have their own drama, too. In this video, meet Daniel Clowes, an acclaimed cartoonist and author whose work helped pave the way for today's graphic novels, and whose characters never wore capes or masks.
Create Your Story
This is it! Compose a complete comic story. It doesn't have to be long or complicated. Choose a new character or use one you have created this week. Think about what your character wants and what obstacles might stand in the way. Visualize the types of scenes that may happen in your story. And then... get drawing.
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.
Storytelling with Cooper
Read Jarrett's Cooper comics, paying special attention to the shapes he uses, how he employs "the six means of expression," and the ways in which he employs a variety of "shots" to frame the story and compose scenes.
For younger explorers
Jack and the Box
Our final comic follows Jack and his new new box, by the great comic artist Art Spiegelman. See what adventures await!
Do some collaborative storytelling with a family member or friend!
Begin scripting or writing a story, but don't write TOO much. Try to think of something unusual to kick things off, with a line like, "On Thursday, the trees' leaves all turned blue," or a classic first sentence like "It was a dark and stormy night."
Then, folding your paper so that your collaborator can only see the very end of the last thing you wrote, have them continue the story.
Repeat the process for as long as you want, then unfold the paper and read it together. (To ensure social distancing, you can also avoid folding and passing the paper by using two papers, and reading one another the very end of what you wrote for your turn.)
Walk in Your Character's Shoes
Take a character (it can be the one you created yesterday, or a new one) for a "walk" — that is, move about in the world as if you ARE them. What would they want? What would they do? Look for obstacles and problems that would help make things more interesting.
Remember: Always check with an adult before going outside (if your character is craving some fresh air).
more to explore
Learn all about some of human beings' very first serial visual storytelling (or comics!) — the cave paintings in Lascaux, France. Did you know the cave paintings were actually discovered by a group of four kids in 1940?
Becoming a Comic Book Artist
What's life like as a comic book artist? And how do you become one? Read this interview with David Nakayama, a comic artist who has designed covers for Marvel, Hasbro, DC and more.
Jobs in Comics
Seriously considering a career in comics? Check out this article to learn more about the jobs involved (like colorists and letterers) and get some advice on how to get started.