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Course Description

How do comics work? What kinds of stories can comics tell?

In this course, we'll explore comics from the bottom up, discovering how comics work by discussing established cartoonists' strips and then drawing our own comics. After learning about the form of comics through single-panel cartoon and style exercises, we'll transition into thinking about content by addressing the genre of many famous graphic novels: autobiography. Why do authors like Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis), Alison Bechdel (Fun Home) or Art Spiegelman (Maus), use comics to tell their stories? We'll begin to formulate an answer to that question by drawing diary strips and writing about graphic novels. In the final section of this course, we'll turn to distribution and collaboration, exploring the comics community in Boston and beyond. Students will gain a fresh perspective on comics, whether you're an avid graphic novel reader or an incurable doodler. No artistic talent or experience is necessary; all you need is, as the Center for Cartoon Studies puts it, "a fearless commitment to putting images on paper" and a dogged determination to figure out how comics work. To the drawing board!

Anna Christine has been drawing and thinking about comics for almost 20 years. Currently a doctoral student in the English department at Tufts, she has published comics online and in Resist!, guest edited by Françoise Mouly and Nadja Spiegelman and distributed during the Women's March on Washington. She has also presented academic papers on graphic novels such as Charles Burns's Black Hole


A sample syllabus for this course can be found here


Please note: Syllabus dates, content, and format are subject to change between now and the summer session.