The Art of the Comic Medium Camp

By IYWP Intern Rebecca Jefferson

IMG_6768This week at Comics Camp with IYWP workshop leaders Joanne and Calvin, students explored the art of graphic novels, traditional comics, and webtoons alike.

Our class discussed every decision made by comic illustrators from color to style, and how each can impact the reader’s experience of the story. By discussing students’ favorite comics, they were able to pinpoint techniques which could help them in their own comics. On the drawing side of things, they learned different techniques like stippling, hatching, cross-hatching, and shading to add dimension to their work. On the story side of things, students learned how to prepare storyboards and coordinate their illustration style with the overall mood of the work.

But that’s not all, we also discussed the myriad of jobs involved in the comic industry. It takes a village to raise a comic book, as the ideas are bounced around by a writer first. Later, a penciler takes those storyboard ideas and brings them to life through drawings. After that, an inker goes over the lines of the pencil drawings in ink and shades and colors them. Lastly, a letterer adds in the dialogue either digitally or by hand. When all that is finished, the book can finally go to the publishing stage.

Sounds like a ton of work, right? But our students were able to experience it all in one week!

Yesterday, Joanne and Calvin introduced them to the final reality of the comic world: deadlines.

Students got right down to work the minute camp started to finish inking their pencil drawings, so their polished work could be included in the class “zine” (a small comic book, much like a chapbook of poetry) which will serve as our camps anthology. As they all raced toward the finish line, students urged each other on through tough panels (ones that required a mind-numbing amount of inking) while showering praise on each other’s work.

Our class made a variety of comics: comics based off of Calvin and Hobbs or other artists they admire; some silly and some serious, but in the end each student presented an engaging and thought-provoking piece of work!



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