Professor Woolley | COMD3513 | HE75 SPRING22

Tag: WEEK 1 (Page 1 of 2)


Chapters 1 & 2

Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud

Our course text is Understanding Comics By Scott McCloud. It is a comic book about comic books. McCloud, in an incredibly accessible style, explains the details of how comics work: how they’re composed, read, and understood.

Discussion Questions

Chapter 1 – Setting The Record Straight – pp. 2

  • What is McCloud’s dilemma regarding comics as the book begins?
  • What’s the difference between pictures and comics?
  • According to McCloud, why isn’t it easy to define comics?
  • To what definition does he eventually arrive?
  • List the ancient civilizations that had some form of comics.

Chapter 2 – Vocabulary of Comics – pp. 24

  • What is an icon?
  • How does knowing what an icon help you “get” the author’s point about the “Treachery of Images”?
  • Discuss the concept of the universality of the cartoon. How/why does this concept help readers of comics?

Week 1

Class Info

  • Date: Thursday, February 3rd
  • Course Goals: In this course students learn strategies for creating finished, professional-quality sequential illustrations combining words and pictures based on topical themes, autobiographical stories, and self-guided narratives.  Topics and strategies include: storytelling focusing on single-panel, multi-panel, and multiple-page sequential illustrated stories. Projects will be completed using an array of digital and traditional media.  This class will focus on sequential art: sequential art can be comic books, graphic novels, children’s books, comic strips, and more.  Topics and strategies include: storytelling focusing on single-panel, multi-panel, and multiple-page sequential illustrated stories. Projects will be completed using an array of digital and traditional media.

To-Do Before Class

  • Join this Openlab Site
  • Print and Review the Syllabus
  • Purchase Required Books and Supplies




  • To familiarize students with the objectives of the course.
  • To establish working practices and clarify expected outcomes.
  • To familiarize studnets with Sequential Art.
  • To introduce the concept of Time a it realtes to storytelling using images.


Online Course structure and Expectations

  • LECTURE: What is Narrative Illustration? What is Sequential Art? What is a Comic?
  • DISCUSSION : Genres and Styles: Comics, Graphic Novels, Manga, Zines, Web Comics / IG COMICS
  • DISCUSSION : Comics are an Artform meant to be READ.
  • READING DISCUSSION: MAUS by Art Spiegelman banned in Tennessee.

  • LECTURE: TIME as it relates to comics.
  • DISCUSSION: What are some of the ways words and images interact in comics? How might the meaning of a drawing change when combined with different words?
  • LECTURE: The 1 Panel COMIC

Review Assignments and Expectations for Next Week’s Class

Due Next Week


Sara Woolley is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: COMD 3513 Narrative Illustration
Time: Feb 3, 2022 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 861 3466 8164
Passcode: COMIX
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Discussion Week 1 : Why Keep a Sketchbook?

excerpt from Frida Khalo’s Sketchbook

One of the most intimate and revealing aspects of an artist’s practice is their sketchbook—a visual diary of daily thoughts, imaginings, and renderings. Frida Khalo, for example, filled her sketchbook with watercolor illustrations, many of which were reworked and incorporated into her work, along with passionate love letters to Diego Rivera, thoughts on pre-Columbian Mexican culture and communism, and references to her failing health due to a life-threatening accident she had at the age of 18.  

Loney Abrams, from 5 Steps to Starting a Sketchbook Habit

Your sketchbook is quite possibly the most powerful tool you have in your illustration arsenal! Use it to reflect on your day, practice your skills, and fill it with your unique visual thoughts!

For this week’s discussion, read Loney Abrams’ 5 STEPS TO STARTING A SKETCHBOOK HABIT on, then consider the following:

  • What are the writer’s suggestions about keeping a sketchbook?
  • Have you ever kept a regular sketchbook?
  • Are there things that have stopped you in the past from doing so?
  • What do you hope to gain by keeping yours this semester?

In the article the writer shares the following quote:

“Drawing has a lot in common with meditating and a still life can be like the candle you use to focus your attention. It takes commitment, sustained focus, and a desire to quiet your mind and deal with the present. Don’t confuse the objects in the drawing for the subject of the drawing. Whether you draw the content of your fridge, the interior of a coffee shop, or junk found at a garage sale, the subject of your drawing is your experience of that location and moment in time.”

Steven Reddy, IllustraTor
  • What do you think this means?

Share your thoughts here. Be sure to read and respond to your classmates’ observations! Be sure to READ the ONLINE DISCUSSION post before you begin!

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