© 2013-18 by Keith McCleary. 

                             ComiCraft: The Art of Issuing Issues and Tuning Toons by Keith McCleary is licensed under a

                             Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

                             Based on a work at http://www.keithmccleary.com/#!comicraft-syllabus/cq9f.

 

ComiCraft: The Art of Issuing Issues & Tuning Toons

 

This course combines the experience of the CAT 124 Practicum with the writing development of the CAT 125 series into a class about the creation of comic books, as well as social and media critique. Students will design a series of original short graphic text projects using a variety of media and techniques, and will develop written analyses that chart their progress and place their projects within a critical framework.  As well as participating in studio critiques and lab hours, and engaging with films, graphic novels, and critical theory, the class will collaborate on a final printed anthology of selected student comics, as well as an online class portfolio. Each student will also write a final paper and personal statement that discusses their body of work from a curatorial standpoint, with attention to the critical practices and cultural references that influence them.

 

 

125 Evaluation:

Participation and attendance in sections & lecture.....................................20%

Journal.........................................................................................................................15%

Book Review and Speech......................................................................................20%

Personal Statement & Resume or CV...............................................................20%

Website.......................................................................................................................25%

 

124 Evaluation:

Participation and attendance in seminar & practicum hours..................20%

Remix Comic..............................................................................................................15%

Zine Project................................................................................................................15%

Docucomic.................................................................................................................15%

Final Project................................................................................................ ...............20%

Gallery Show..............................................................................................................15%

 

COURSE READINGS

 

Full Length Works

Love and Rockets: Maggie the Mechanic, Los Bros Hernandez

American Born Chinese, Gene Yang

Skim, Mariko & Jillian Tamaki

Asterios Polyp, David Mazzucchelli

 

E-RESERVES

The Photographer, Emmanuel Guibert

Best American Comics 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012 - various authors

 

 

125 ASSIGNMENTS

 

JOURNAL - Students will keep journals of all class readings, writing weekly entries on each class text. The focus of these entries may vary slightly each week, but in general are meant to demonstrate a thoughtful responses to class readings. (JOURNAL UPDATES GO ON 124 SITE.)

 

BOOK REVIEW  & SPEECH - Each student will write a detailed book review of 800-1000 words on a favorite graphic novel, considering the social context of its authors, their aesthetic choices, and the larger themes of the work itself. In addition to the written review, students will craft a 5-minute speech with 20 automatically-timed slides, to be presented in section.

 

WEBSITE - Students will be responsible for the creation of an online portfolio that showcases all class work, and provides insight into their individual personality and research interests. A draft of this site, with active domain name, an "About Me" statement and a basic structure, will be due midway through the course; students are expected to continue to develop and update the site until all final work is due.

 

PERSONAL STATEMENT - Students will write a personal statement of 1000-1500 words to the Gallery Directors, explaining why they should be included in the end-of-quarter Gallery Show. As well as being a piece of strong persuasive writing, the statement should express the student's individual character, strengths, and accomplishments. It should also follow a linear narrative with a unified theme. In addition to the personal statement, students will turn in a cover letter, a resume or CV (student choice), and a link to the final version of their website.

 

 

124 ASSIGNMENTS

 

REMIX COMICS  - In what ways does the use of genre in comics seek to enforce, or subvert, the structures of prejudice and privilege in our culture? Students will examine several works that blur the boundaries of "high" and "low" comic art, and then create their own 1-page comics as a means to engage with the stereotypes that have long been intertwined with mainstream comic books. Students will create their comics solely through montage, "remixing" the public domain comics available through online archives such as Comic Book Plus and the Digital Comics Museum.

 

ZINES - students will create short illustrated zines reporting on topics of localized political concern, relating to the issues of life in a culturally and ethnically diverse border city. As well as submitting sample copies of their zines for peer review, students will also explore San Diego in order to find relevant places to distribute their zines, and document the process of doing so.

 

DOCUCOMICS - Students will conduct interviews with members of local public outreach organizations in order to create 1-page personal narratives. Interview candidates should have some first hand knowledge of the communities they represent, be it a veteran's group, LGBT support center, immigrations representative, etc. Using only found dialogue from these interviews, students will uncover a short story that can be recreated through visuals, and may use original photos or drawings to create their work.

 

WEBCOMICS - In what ways is our work automatically an artist statement, and how can we present that statement to the widest audience? As a final project, students will create a series of 5 webcomics in which they must interpret their own artist statements in a visual, narrative format. These webcomics may be literal and autobiographical, may allow for the students to create alter-egos, or can deal with the assignment in any way that the students feel represent themselves and their work.

 

GALLERY SHOW

Collectively, students will produce, promote and curate a gallery show to showcase the best work produced during Comicraft. Each student will contribute one of their class projects, be responsible for its display in the gallery and aid in the design of the overall event.

 

PRODUCTION BOOK

Students will keep a production book to record the development of each 124 project, as well as for the final gallery show. Each entry should include all development materials for their accompanying assignments, as well as the student's thoughts and goals for the assignment in question. These books will not be graded on their own, but each assignment will be considered incomplete without an accompanying production book entry handed in on the day the assignment is due. Some guidelines for production books will be provided, but it is ultimately up to the student to construct parameters for these books that make the most sense with the development of their projects.

 

 

The Fine Print

 

Passing: In order to earn a passing grade for the course, you must receive a passing grade in section (C or higher), and complete all course requirements including required assignments that are not graded.

 

Policy on Late Papers and Make-up Assignments: Excepting emergencies, I do not allow late papers and do not allow make-up assignments.

 

Extra credit: If/when assigned, Extra Credit will be worth +1%, and all extra credit assignments in total cannot exceed +4% (+2% from section, +2% from lecture).

 

ADA Statement: If you have a disability or condition that compromises your ability to complete the requirements of this course, you should inform me as soon as possible of your needs. I will make all reasonable efforts to accommodate you. If, as a result of a disability, you cannot accept the content or terms of this syllabus, you need to notify me in writing by Week 2.

 

Ground Rules: The number one ground rule to which we will all adhere is to engage in respectful and considerate debate and discussion in the classroom.  Abusive and harsh language will not be tolerated. 

 

Cheating and Plagiarism: Cheating and/or plagiarism are not tolerated behaviors.  If there is any suspicion that your paper or assignments have been plagiarized, the case will be forwarded to the dean of 6th college for further investigation and appropriate disciplinary action.

 

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