In the ArtCenter Extension (ACX) course Comic Book Illustration and Graphic Novels, taught by comic book artist, illustrator and graphic designer Alan Lawrence, students learn the ins and outs of comic books and graphic novels by diving into illustrative exercises and experimental storytelling.
"The most creative methodology I bring to this course is the way I teach people to look at what a comic really is,” says Lawrence. “The medium of comics isn't pen and ink, or digital drawing. It's your page rate—how many pages you can complete in X amount of time. A comic isn't a comic until you fully articulate your narrative idea on the page.”
In the course, students learn how to make dynamic page designs using a variety of trade tools from graphic design, comics and entertainment design.
Aspiring artists and designers—including those interested in applying to ArtCenter’s degree programs—get the chance to draw multiple images and pages, and put those pages together to create a work of art, says Lawrence.
The course also explores character design, pacing, cinematic design and story development.
Students have the opportunity to produce a solid portfolio of work, a self-published book and a website.
“I teach students tons of techniques to do visual storytelling, and how to manage a group of pages to make their story,” says Lawrence. “When students achieve that ability to organize a story sequence, and bring it into being, they are ready to express themselves in comic books.”