What is the course about?
This is a creative course focusing on the skills necessary to write short and long form comics. It will also contextualise the various genres in comics to show the range possible in the medium. There will also be a few guest speakers from the comics industry, allowing for an insight into how commissioning works.
Students like: "practical experience, good feedback, and a supportive atmosphere"; "analysing comics/scripts and workshopping our written work"; "it helped me to gain confidence in my work"; "interactivity"; "it really put everything I needed to know into easily-digested classes and I feel very prepared!"
Bobby Joseph is the comic book author of Skank Magazine, Black Eye and the Scotland Yardie graphic novel. He has written for The Guardian, Vice.com, The Voice newspaper, Radio 4 and BBC1's Lenny Henry in Pieces. His comic work was featured in the 'Anarchy in the UK' comic exhibition at the British Library. The piece, 'Co-Co Nutts' was viewed by over 60,000 visitors during the summer of 2015. He is a vocal advocate for diversity in comic books and is credited on the BBC website as instrumental in featuring some of the 'first comics by black creators featuring black characters.'
City Lit reserves the right to change course tutors from those advertised in this outline. In line with our refund policy we are unable to grant a refund on the grounds of a change of tutor.
What will we cover?
- How to write a script
- The vocabulary of comics
- Different methods of storytelling
- Different genres of comics, from Autobiography to Super-Heroes
- Developing your own idea for a comic or graphic novel
- Insights into comics as culture – watching 2/ 3 documentaries about the comics process.
- Professional insights from guests (creative and editorial) about the process and how to get published.
What will I achieve?
By the end of this course you should be able to...
- Write a comics script
- Be able to call on a number of different storytelling skills to do so
- Have developed an idea to work on
- Have an idea of how to get published
- Have the beginnings of a comics network to support your further output
- Have an idea of the range of stories it’s possible to tell in the comics medium.
What level is the course and do I need any particular skills?
- You need to be able to read and write English
- You need to be able to have a certain level of sightedness as the course works partly with material that is only visual
- You will need basic mathematics in order to paginate and break your script down into panels and sections
- The level is open to all comers, from amateurs to professionals. Enthusiasm for the medium is the key requirement.
How will I be taught, and will there be any work outside the class?
- Teaching will include group and individual writing exercises in class, lectures, some viewing of film and group discussions.
- There will be some required reading/writing exercises outside of class time, but this will be minimal.
All writing courses at City Lit will involve an element of workshop. This means that students will produce work which will be discussed in an open and constructive environment with the tutor and other students. The college operates a policy of constructive criticism, and all feedback on another student’s work by the tutor and other students should be delivered in that spirit.
For classes longer than one day, regular reading and writing exercises will be set for completion at home to set deadlines.
Are there any other costs? Is there anything I need to bring?
Pen, paper and notebook. You may be encouraged to buy comics, but only within students' means – it won’t be essential.
When I've finished, what course can I do next?
All students are invited to join us at City Lit Talks Back, our monthly performance night for City Lit writers. Everyone is welcome, admission is free and there's no need to book in advance. Students are also encouraged to submit to Between the Lines, our annual anthology of creative writing. For the latest news, courses and events, stay in touch with the Department on Facebook and Twitter.
General information and advice on courses at City Lit is available from the Student Centre and Library on Monday to Friday from 12:00 – 19:00.
See the course guide for term dates and further details