Begins Tuesday, January 10th, 2023
Class will meet weekly via Zoom on Tuesday, 7:00PM - 9:00PM Mountain Standard Time (starting at 6PM PST, 8PM CST, 9PM EST).
Any questions about this class? Use the Chat Button (lower left) to talk with us.
This class is taught by Mat Heagerty, a middle grade graphic novel author whose work includes Unplugged and Unpopular, Martian Ghost Centaur as well as Lumberjackula, which will be out in July 2022 from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers along with several other graphic novels in production at various publishing houses.
In recent years, graphic novels have taken publishing by storm: they’ve grown a whopping 65% this last year alone (2022) on NDP BookScan! Lots of authors, especially in kid lit, are interested in dipping their toes into writing graphic novels, but if you aren’t an artist, where do you start?
In this workshop, we’ll break down the pillars of sequential storytelling and the nuances of collaborating with an artist or art team to bring a story to life in a way only graphic novels can. We’ll explore the nearly endless limits of the versatile format while also learning about current trends and standards in the industry.
Beyond understanding the mechanics of writing a comic script, students will also come away with a basic understanding of what self-publishing, working with a small press, or working with a traditional publisher is like for graphic novel authors.
Session One will focus on the basics of sequential storytelling and working with an artist to make a graphic novel. We’ll look at the wide view process of how a graphic novel comes together from proposal to finished story with a focus on script writing formats. We’ll also take a look at comics masterclass “Understanding Comics” by Scott McCloud and a look at some of the most successful comics in the market today.
- Homework: before session two, students will be asked to write a one-page comic script, featuring at least five panels on whatever they like to share with the class next session.
Session Two we'll go over everyone’s short scripts. We’ll discuss hybrid comics like “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” or “My Favorite Thing is Monsters” and really look at the ways you can control time and pacing with comic scripts. We’ll see examples of the importance and power of page turns, why smaller is always better for a first project in comics, and how a good short can act as your calling card to open doors.
Homework: at the end of class, students will be given another student’s one-page script to draw at home before next class. Yes, this is a writing class, but to write graphic novels well, you should at least have a basic understanding of what your collaborator will be attempting to do when they interpret your script. If drawing isn’t your thing, stick figures are fine! It should be a stress-free fun exercise.
Session Three we will start by going over everyone’s drawn comic pages. Then, we'll discuss how you could give a script to seven artists and get seven different pages and why that’s great! You don’t want a robot as a collaborator. You want a partner, because your graphic novel is also theirs. We’ll discuss how to put an art team together, things to look for in an artist and how rights and contracting something like that might go. We’ll discuss self-publishing routes and how to be a project manager for a book. Things like crowd funding and the warning to stay away from predatory rights grabbing small publishers.
Homework: students will be asked to come in next week with a simple logline and short proposal of a graphic novel they would like to make.
Session Four we’ll talk about agents and traditional publishing. Understanding the market as it is now. From standard page counts and panel counts wanted for genres and age ranges, to contractual norms. What is it like getting and working with a literary agent? We’ll also discuss the strong connection of Hollywood to the comic’s industry. Mat will share his experiences working with a TV/Film manager and agent to shop around screenplays based on his graphic novels. We’ll end the class with students sharing their graphic novel pitches and begin constructing a plan of how they see it being achieved.
- Students will leave the class with a full understanding of the state of current graphic novel publishing
- Understanding of what it means to be a great collaborator.
- Students will leave with a "one sheet" outlining their next project
- A roadmap for your writing moving forward
ONLINE COURSE STRUCTURE:
Instructor: Mat Heagerty
Class Starts January 10th, 2023
Course is fully ONLINE and will meet weekly via Zoom on Tuesdays from 7:00PM - 9:00PM MST.
Contact us HERE if you have any questions about this class.
Instructor Mat Heagerty is a comic book writer, rad dad, and all around chipper dude living in Boise, ID. Mat’s dyslexic, and struggled a bunch in school, but now he writes rad comics like 'Lumberjackula' (Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers), ‘Martian Ghost Centaur' (Oni Press ), ‘Unplugged and Unpopular' (Oni Press) & the forthcoming graphic novels... 'Jaywalker' (Oni Press 2022), & 'Indoor Kid' (Oni Press 2023).