The Near-Sighted Monkey

Batman Vomits, Batman Screams

Making Comics

Art 448

University of Wisconsin-Madison

Instructor: Professor Bootsy

Your assignment: Holy Round Robin, Batman!

Fold a sheet of paper into quarters. In the first frame, using non-photo blue pencil, draw Batman in the style of Ivan Brunetti. You’ll have two minutes.

Exchange papers.

In the second frame, again using non-photo blue pencil, you’ll have two minutes to draw Batman throwing up.

Exchange papers.

Third frame, same thing, non photo blue pencil, two minutes: draw Batman dejected.

Exchange papers

Final frame, same thing: draw Batman Screaming

Exchange papers.

Now take a black Flair pen know this: You have 20 minutes to ink in all the Batman drawings and there should be something that is solid black in each frame.

These images were drawn in the same 30 minutes on September 10, 2014 minutes by students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Professor Bootsy loves every single one of them.

Apologies for the images that are out of focus.

Go class go!

Dear Making Comics Students,

This is a video I’d like you to watch or listen to while you are doing your coloring pages. You don’t have to look up very often, and I know you heard half of it in class today, already. But I’ve listened to it many times and today I still heard new things and these new things gave me the joyous shivers.

Coloring something by hand will help you listen and help you retain what you heard.

Sincerely,

Prof. Bootsy

Dear Making Comics Class,

I’m very much looking forward to seeing you tomorrow. Here are some letters I’ve written to you along with some of your drawings I’ve copied to get a feel for how your line moves. I love the combination of trained and un-trained lines. I’ve found that when a class is mixed like this - folks who don’t draw and folks who do— the most incredible combinations start to show up. The people who don’t consider themselves to be artists usually have a quicker path to an original line and way of drawing although they have a hard time believing it for awhile.  The people who do draw get to fly right away and start developing their line into something strong. Both sides of the drawing fence have a strong influence on the other side. I feel so lucky to have you all together in one class for a whole semester.See you tomorrow. Bring your flair pens and your compbooks and your three ring binders with the plastic sheet protectors.

Sincerely,

Professor Bootsy

PS: My cat really dug your drawings too. She kept needing to stand on them to look a little closer.

Dear Students,
Is creative concentration contagious?
What will we find out this semester?
Sincerely,
Professor Bootsy.

Making Comics    Art 448     Fall 2014

Monday and Wednesday, 1:20 pm to 3:50 pm

Watercolor Room, Humanities, 6th Floor

Overview: 

This course is an introduction to making comics as a both a subject and means of academic study.  How do writing and pictures combine and interact to make something new? We call this ‘something’ by various names;  sequential art, graphic novel, essay, or autobiography,  illustrated text, cartoons or just plain old ‘comics.’ 

For this class we’ll use that plain old misunderstood word: comics. Misunderstood because it seems to carry with it the meaning of a close-cousin word: “comic”  as in funny, amusing, not serious. But the word ‘cartoon’ may bring us a little closer to what I mean here. ‘Cartoon’ is related to the Italian word, ‘cartone’, which, in the middle ages, was used to describe a kind of strong line drawing made on sturdy paper then meant to be transferred onto a wall during the process of making a fresco.  In the beginning, the meaning of ‘cartoon’ was a clear line drawing. 

Through weekly exercises, you will learn some of the basic elements of making comics; combining writing and line drawings to create a variety of stories.

Although comics can be funny, they can also be used to tell the most serious stories we know. In 1991 the idea of what comics could hold exploded when Art Spiegelman published “Maus”, which used the comics form to tell the story of his father’s experiences as a Polish Jew in the camps during the Holocaust. (If you haven’t read “Maus” yet, you need to.) After 1992,  when Speigelman won the Pulitzer Prize for “Maus” this thing we call ‘comics’ began to find acceptance as a powerful means to tell the most serious of stories.  In “Footnotes in Gaza” Joe Sacco, an award-winning investigative journalist, used comics to depict his interviews with survivors of two previously undocumented massacres of Palestinians in 1956.  Phoebe Glockner used comics to graphically depict the darkness of child sexual abuse in “A Child’s Life” and “Diary of a Teenage Girl”. In “Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow” Anders Nilson used comics to document the experience of losing his girlfriend to an aggressive form of cancer. And in “Persepolis”, Marjane Satrapi used comics to depict her experiences as a girl in Iran during the Islamic revolution. 

I’ve come to think of a comic as being something like a song. It can really be about anything. We can address all sorts of things in a song —- love gone wrong, truck-driving daddies, smoking, racism, boots, birthdays, cheating, space travel, big butts, revenge, war, a turkey in the straw, regret, grandma’s hands, purple haze or mountains majesty —- in this same way we can make a comic about anything. In this class every kind of story is welcome. No matter the subject, it is welcome to find its own way into comic form.

The main goal of the course is to help you to expand your abilities and develop as as both writers and picture-makers.   The workload here is demanding because learning to make comics demands a kind of immersion in drawing, writing and the continual practice of observing the world around you and inside of you.   You will need to work steadily all semester, even when you feel uninspired. You’ll be asked to try a variety ways of making pictures and stories. And toward the end of the semester you’ll work on a final project that will take the form of a ‘zine; an original handmade book of at least 24 pages comprised of both visual and written elements.

Dear Students,

Is creative concentration contagious?

What will we find out this semester?

Sincerely,

Professor Bootsy.

Making Comics    Art 448     Fall 2014

Monday and Wednesday, 1:20 pm to 3:50 pm

Watercolor Room, Humanities, 6th Floor

Overview:

This course is an introduction to making comics as a both a subject and means of academic study.  How do writing and pictures combine and interact to make something new? We call this ‘something’ by various names;  sequential art, graphic novel, essay, or autobiography,  illustrated text, cartoons or just plain old ‘comics.’

For this class we’ll use that plain old misunderstood word: comics. Misunderstood because it seems to carry with it the meaning of a close-cousin word: “comic”  as in funny, amusing, not serious. But the word ‘cartoon’ may bring us a little closer to what I mean here. ‘Cartoon’ is related to the Italian word, ‘cartone’, which, in the middle ages, was used to describe a kind of strong line drawing made on sturdy paper then meant to be transferred onto a wall during the process of making a fresco.  In the beginning, the meaning of ‘cartoon’ was a clear line drawing.

Through weekly exercises, you will learn some of the basic elements of making comics; combining writing and line drawings to create a variety of stories.

Although comics can be funny, they can also be used to tell the most serious stories we know. In 1991 the idea of what comics could hold exploded when Art Spiegelman published “Maus”, which used the comics form to tell the story of his father’s experiences as a Polish Jew in the camps during the Holocaust. (If you haven’t read “Maus” yet, you need to.) After 1992,  when Speigelman won the Pulitzer Prize for “Maus” this thing we call ‘comics’ began to find acceptance as a powerful means to tell the most serious of stories.  In “Footnotes in Gaza” Joe Sacco, an award-winning investigative journalist, used comics to depict his interviews with survivors of two previously undocumented massacres of Palestinians in 1956.  Phoebe Glockner used comics to graphically depict the darkness of child sexual abuse in “A Child’s Life” and “Diary of a Teenage Girl”. In “Don’t Go Where I Can’t Follow” Anders Nilson used comics to document the experience of losing his girlfriend to an aggressive form of cancer. And in “Persepolis”, Marjane Satrapi used comics to depict her experiences as a girl in Iran during the Islamic revolution.

I’ve come to think of a comic as being something like a song. It can really be about anything. We can address all sorts of things in a song —- love gone wrong, truck-driving daddies, smoking, racism, boots, birthdays, cheating, space travel, big butts, revenge, war, a turkey in the straw, regret, grandma’s hands, purple haze or mountains majesty —- in this same way we can make a comic about anything. In this class every kind of story is welcome. No matter the subject, it is welcome to find its own way into comic form.

The main goal of the course is to help you to expand your abilities and develop as as both writers and picture-makers.   The workload here is demanding because learning to make comics demands a kind of immersion in drawing, writing and the continual practice of observing the world around you and inside of you.   You will need to work steadily all semester, even when you feel uninspired. You’ll be asked to try a variety ways of making pictures and stories. And toward the end of the semester you’ll work on a final project that will take the form of a ‘zine; an original handmade book of at least 24 pages comprised of both visual and written elements.

Here is a picture of Professor Bootsy’s newest book, “Syllabus” published by Drawn and Quarterly debuting at SPX (Small Press Expo) in Washington DC on September 13th. Can you dig it?
Professor Bootsy (AKA Lynda Barry) knew that you could!

Here is a picture of Professor Bootsy’s newest book, “Syllabus” published by Drawn and Quarterly debuting at SPX (Small Press Expo) in Washington DC on September 13th. Can you dig it?

Professor Bootsy (AKA Lynda Barry) knew that you could!

thenearsightedmonkey:

“Dude, there’s tons of wrecks,”

 Dear Students,

At the end of the upcoming semester,  you’ll create a final project in the form of a ‘zine: a little book that is at least 24 pages long, with visual and written elements.

This video shows you how you will do it.  And also what the weather will be like when the semester is over in December. In. Madison. Wis. Con. Sin.

Each Car = An idea about what your final project will be about.

Then other ideas come but they stall out.

Then even more ideas come and try not to crash into the stalled out ideas, but they are sliding into them anyway.

Then come even more more more ideas!

And at about 2:29 you are freaking because you realize this is turning into dog pile! You shout “WATCH OUT! WATCH OUT” Then all kinds of fishtail swervey shizz starts to happen and then…

And then…

And then…

Um…

Apparently something happens  that is very good but is not shown in this video.

But after it happens your ‘zine is DONE!

YOU DID IT!

And we DIG IT!

Sincerely,

Professor Bootsy

Dear Students,

Once you pick your character name, how might you draw yourself as that character?

Here are some of the practice pages I made in my composition notebook while I tried to work out how I’d do it.

Professor Spooky Bootsy or Professor Monkey Bootsy?

It will change, depending on the day but  I will always need my star-glasses on.

Sincerely,

Professor Sincere Bootsy

Hello my dear Students,

Soon we will begin our time together.

Before our first class, I’d like you to do a couple of things.

One is to buy a roll of scotch tape and bring it with you along with a black flair pen. This is all you’ll need for our first day.

You’ll also need to pick out a character name for yourself.

It has to be the name of a fictional character that already exists in the world (Scrooge, Hello Kitty, Medusa) or a famous person (Beyonce, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Abraham Lincoln) Feel free to chose a character of any gender, physical appearance, nationality, or time-period and don’t fret too much about it. Pick someone you feel some sort of attachment to. For example, I’ve always felt a strong attachment to wookies so last semester I was Professor Chewbacca.  This semester I’ll be Professor Bootsy because of my strong attachment to ‘the one’


When you’ve chosen your name, please email me and let me know what it is. I’ll need to hear from you before Saturday Aug 30

I am sincerely looking forward to seeing you all on ‘the one’ in 3-D on September 3,

Professor Bootsy

PS Here are some names students have used in the past. All of these are now retired so they can’t be reused. Please know your character name will also be retired after this semester and will join the following list of immortals.

Bender
Squilliam Fancyson
Bluto
The Princess Anastasia
Dr. Girlfriend
Captain Underpants
G.K.
Inspector Gadget
Dr. Jones
Knuckles
Hermione Granger
Little Nemo
Dick Grayson
Maya the Bee
Spethjasu
Mordechai
Sherlock Holmes
Sluggo
Chewbacca
Obelix
Spinelli
Optimus Prime
Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden
Meelo
The Shmoo
Raven
Squid
Stella Luna
Shark Bait
Avatar Roku
Kal El
Count Chocula
Gorrila Grodd
Pippi Pied Piper
Mighty Mouse
Falada
Ben Bag-Bag
Kitty Forman
Hal 9000
Baubo
Hunca Munca
Twilight Sparkle
Beatrix Kiddo
Free Willy

Summer lovin’ from Arna!

Comic by Lynda Barry

Dear Students,

According to The New Yorker, what has Professor Chewbacca been up to this week?

Lynda Barry Sells Out! 

Sincerely, Professor Chewbacca

Where on earth is Professor Chewbacca?
On May 13th she’ll be using her earth name (Lynda Barry) and will be at an opening for an exhibition of her work in New York from 6pm to 8pm at the Adam Baumgold Gallery — 60 east 66th street, NYC NY just in case you are in the neighborhood, come on over!  The exhibition is #5 on the “what to do” list in New York Magazine.http://nymag.com/arts/all/to-do-2014-5-5/
Can you dig it? We KNEW that you COULD!

Where on earth is Professor Chewbacca?

On May 13th she’ll be using her earth name (Lynda Barry) and will be at an opening for an exhibition of her work in New York from 6pm to 8pm at the Adam Baumgold Gallery — 60 east 66th street, NYC NY just in case you are in the neighborhood, come on over!  The exhibition is #5 on the “what to do” list in New York Magazine.http://nymag.com/arts/all/to-do-2014-5-5/

Can you dig it? We KNEW that you COULD!

Dear Students,

Here is a picture of one of your comics cousins, my ‘god-student’ MJ at her opening last night at Oberlin College. She’s pictured with Professor Count Chocula (Dan Chaon) who has been such an important part of our class this semester.

Jes’ sayin’ you got people in Ohio,

Love!

Professor Chewbacca

Dear Making Comics Class,
This is what I like to do. Find a simple character that keeps showing up in my comp book, one I like drawing and fold a page into 16 chambers and just try to follow what they might do and what might happen next. Twirlita showed up a couple of years ago. All she wants to do is finish one dance without being interrupted. Will it ever happen?
Sincerely,
Professor Chewbacca

Dear Making Comics Class,

This is what I like to do. Find a simple character that keeps showing up in my comp book, one I like drawing and fold a page into 16 chambers and just try to follow what they might do and what might happen next. Twirlita showed up a couple of years ago. All she wants to do is finish one dance without being interrupted. Will it ever happen?

Sincerely,

Professor Chewbacca

Dear Making Comics Class,
Here is the homework page I handed out on Wednesday. Remember that the manuscript pages are actually due Monday, Feb 24th. For Monday, ink in the non-photo blue drawings we did in class from stories we wrote, and the four ‘monster-family’ drawings we did. Bring in your finished ‘Hall of Science” page and the 8 index-card strip mentioned on this page.
Sincerely,
Professor Chewbacca

Dear Making Comics Class,

Here is the homework page I handed out on Wednesday. Remember that the manuscript pages are actually due Monday, Feb 24th. For Monday, ink in the non-photo blue drawings we did in class from stories we wrote, and the four ‘monster-family’ drawings we did. Bring in your finished ‘Hall of Science” page and the 8 index-card strip mentioned on this page.

Sincerely,

Professor Chewbacca

Dear Students,
This week we’ll be changing up our daily diary to something like a Bingo Game. It’s pretty easy. You trace this grid into your compbook and then look to the world around you and your day as you’ve lived it so far to find
3 things you did
3 things you observed
3 things you overheard
3 things to draw
You can do them in any order, you can do them over the course of your entire day or in a single sitting; at a coffee shop, a classroom or lecture hall, at home, on the bus— any where where there are people around you.
For the drawing part, it’s helpful to look for specific things, such as three round things in the room, or orange things, or hairdos, or switches or styles of backpacks. Anything that will make you look around the place you find yourself in.
I’ll pass out copies of this page tomorrow in class.
Sincerely,
Professor Chewbacca

Dear Students,

This week we’ll be changing up our daily diary to something like a Bingo Game. It’s pretty easy. You trace this grid into your compbook and then look to the world around you and your day as you’ve lived it so far to find

3 things you did

3 things you observed

3 things you overheard

3 things to draw

You can do them in any order, you can do them over the course of your entire day or in a single sitting; at a coffee shop, a classroom or lecture hall, at home, on the bus— any where where there are people around you.

For the drawing part, it’s helpful to look for specific things, such as three round things in the room, or orange things, or hairdos, or switches or styles of backpacks. Anything that will make you look around the place you find yourself in.

I’ll pass out copies of this page tomorrow in class.

Sincerely,

Professor Chewbacca