Introduction to graphic novels

Course Dates: 29/01/24 - 04/03/24
Time: 18:00 - 21:00
Location: Keeley Street
Our 'Introduction' courses provide a perfect way-in to a creative field.

Comics – once considered lowbrow, or seen as exclusively for children, now occupy a higher cultural domain. Partly thanks to a re-brand, (as ‘Graphic Novels’), no weighty subject is off-limits. A graphic novel has even been nominated for The Booker Prize!

Alongside official publishing channels, exists a lively ‘zine’ culture, where comic and graphic-novel artists can legitimately self-publish and sell their work through a network of independent shops and fairs.

Learn how to create Comics and Graphic-novels with City Lit, and – once you have developed your practice – how to navigate this thriving sector.
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Full fee £259.00 Senior fee £207.00 Concession £168.00

This course has now started

Introduction to graphic novels
This course has started
  • Course Code: VZ449
  • Dates: 29/01/24 - 04/03/24
  • Time: 18:00 - 21:00
  • Taught: Mon, Evening
  • Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)
  • Location: Keeley Street
  • Tutor: Stephen Marchant

Course Code: VZ449

Started Mon, eve, 29 Jan - 04 Mar '24

Duration: 6 sessions (over 6 weeks)

Please note: We offer a wide variety of financial support to make courses affordable. Just visit our online Help Center for more information on a range of topics including fees, online learning and FAQs.

What is the course about?

This course is an introduction to the practical and conceptual (thinking) skills integral to the discipline of Comics and Graphic Novels. You will also be introduced to the key movements and styles which have shaped the evolution of this subject area.

What will we cover?

Introduction to:
• The key elements of comics/graphic-novels: sequencing, panels, page-layout, captions, direct speech, sound effects - and how to use and manipulate them to tell stories.
• Drawing, painting and mixed-media
• Researching, developing and realising short comics / graphic-novels in response to a brief.
• The different applications of comics and graphic novels, from print media to digital.
• The key movements and styles within the subject area.
• How to use tutor and peer feedback to evolve and improve your work.
• Basic Adobe Creative Cloud software.

What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...

• Manipulate sequential images, panels, page-layout, captions, direct speech, and sound effects to create a short comic / graphic novel.
• Research, develop and realise a short comic / graphic novel in response to a brief.
• Use tutor and peer feedback to evolve and improve your work.
• Discuss the different applications of comics / graphic novels and the key movements and styles.

What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?

This course is suitable for beginners.

English-language competency is required: you should be able to follow verbal and written instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information. You may need to take short written notes for your own use and take part in group discussions. This course is suitable for BEGINNERS.

English-language competency is required: you should be able to follow verbal and written instructions, demonstrations, hand-outs and health and safety information. You may need to take short written notes for your own use and take part in group discussions.

How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?

- Presentations
- Demonstrations
- Practical work
- Individual and group tutoring
- Group discussion

Additional/extension activities may be set for you to complete at home or outside of the course hours. Completion of additional tasks is encouraged to help you get the most out of the course. Where required your tutor will discuss these with you.

This course is supported by Google Classroom as a Virtual Learning Environment. When you log on you will be able to access course material, presentations, and handouts etc. and may be asked to complete learner progress records. You can find help via the student help centre on the City Lit website.

Please note it is important that you sign up and log in to your course Google classroom prior to the first session. Joining detail will be sent to you via email (check your junk/spam folder).

Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?

At City Lit, access to basic materials and resources are available as part of this course. We advise you to bring a A5/A4 sketchbook for the recording of ideas and an A3 folder and/or a USB drive, to transport work to and from City Lit. Additional materials required as part of the course will be discussed by your tutor if required.

Need art supplies? Our partner London Graphic Centre has everything you need from pencils to printing services, at 15% off.

To get 15% LGC discount, you will need to show proof/ confirmation of enrolment and being a student at City Lit. You can apply in-store or by simply emailing with a scan or photo of relevant confirmation. Student discount does not apply to products that are already discounted or on offer. More information can be found here-

When I've finished, what course can I do next?

We recommend looking at our Developing Graphic Novels course as a next step in your progression. In addition, we offer a range of courses and specialist workshops within graphic design, illustration, children’s book illustration and graphic novels.

For more information about any of the courses on offer, please visit our website.

Stephen Marchant

Steve Marchant has taught comic art skills to students of all ages for the last 30 years at sites including City Lit, City University, Birkbeck, The Hayward Gallery, Tate Britain, The Arvon Foundation, The Black Cultural Archive, and is the full-time learning coordinator/senior tutor at The Cartoon Museum – where he is also its comic art consultant. He regularly teaches at schools and libraries across the UK and has taught in Hungary and Latvia for the British Council. Steve has produced numerous educational comics and cartoons for clients including the BBC’s ‘Bitesize’ website, the Learning Trust, Kingston Travel Awareness Unit, Lewisham Youth Service, the Who Cares? Trust, and Africaid, presenting topical information in a fun, accessible format. Other clients have included British Airways, Intel, Kogan Page, ITV, and South London Theatre. Steve is the author/illustrator of two books: The Cartoonist’s Workshop and The Computer Cartoon Kit. His personal work appears in the award-winning online comic Aces Weekly. Facebook: Comic Creators Project at the Cartoon Museum

Please note: We reserve the right to change our tutors from those advertised. This happens rarely, but if it does, we are unable to refund fees due to this. Our tutors may have different teaching styles; however we guarantee a consistent quality of teaching in all our courses.