I agree today’s entry isn’t much of a comic to look at, but I’m still in the throes of last month’s teaching, and the Deep Thoughts About Comics that always come to the surface when I teach.
The above is an attempt to outline the field definition of (what I, whithin my courses, accept as) comics, and I think it fits as well into its own definition as any graphic representation of information. But yeah, even I think I’m pushing the 30 Days envelope a bit with this one.
Next maybe I should try and define “story”? I’m always getting vague and mumbly when I teach narrative.
This week and three weeks on I’m back at Holbæk school of arts teaching comics.
Today was the first of our recurrent music interpretation assignment: students make comics from a given tune, today with the added challenge to only use clippings from discarded encyclopedias and art books.
This found footage approach lets the students work with storytelling and graphic representation without being inhibited by their (perceived) drawing abilities.
Using ready-made imagery allows them to focus on the layouts, and the “lyrical” nature of the assignment relieves them of linear narrative concerns. Every time I give this task to a class I’m blown away by the powerful results.
The music interpreted here is “Making of Cyborg” from the Ghost in the Shell movie. Enjoy the snapshots, I’m mighty proud of this day’s work!
Oh joy, not only did I land a THIRD of the students for my comics class (not a fifth like I said yesterday!), I had to do a double-check slapstick-style when I saw the level these kids are at!
I say kids; they’re in their twenties, but I have to imagine I have some edge on them, if only in age. It’s really an impressive talent mass to be working with, and diverse, too.
Am actually looking *forward to* getting up at five in the AM tomorrow…! Who’d have thunk?!
And I’m off to the Oscars. No, wait. Been reading Matt Fractions Twitter coverage (twitterage?) of the awards.
I’m really off to teach comics for the next four weeks. It’s going to be a logistic limbo of connecting trains between Malmoe and Holbak (Shit Creek, Denmark) since I want to go home and see my kids every day. The school has set me up with a room on the premises but I’d rather commute five hrs a day(!) than be away from the family.
Plus, I can get some (comic lettering) work done on the train, so I’m fully paid up for my time
Starting off today by repeating the same speech four times to different groups of students to enlist them to the course/cause. Repetition is fun (?) and hopefully effective. Should keep statistic lists of enrollment by group to check on own performance. First group is an obvious no-win since I will have no clue what I’m saying. By last session I’ll be going on pure coffee-induced stamina and routine, so that’s a goner, too.
Betting the rest of the course on groups two and three. If I get my little speech together, that is, otherwise there’ll be lots of quality time with the young’uns…
[Edit: seems like I landed a whopping fifth of the entire student body for my little course, or my maths are awhack. Who said comics were dead, motherfucker?!]
Below: a picture from scenic Holbak (iPhone keyboard won’t take international signs, so I included the correct spelling on the sign at the top)