Non-Fiction Comics

Non-Fiction Comics

How to transform research, interviews and articles into graphic storytelling. | taught by Jess Ruliffson
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Are you sitting on a treasure trove of research?

Do you have too many good stories to tell? Are you a reporter looking for a new way to present stories to your readership? Graphic storytelling -- or, in simpler terms, comics -- is a great way to bring depth to your stories and engage people on a visceral level. Whether you're working on a story based on interviews with refugees or on interviews with your grandmother, I think you'll find that comics can be a great way to tell it.

In this course, I will personally walk you through moving from rich research material to rich graphic storytelling.


We'll survey examples of nonfiction comics and examine what works well and what doesn't in sequential art. And I'll show you how I take research that can amount to thousands of words and find the right threads to pull from it and the right visuals to tell the story.

By the end of this course, you'll create two comic pages.

Take your rich material and squeeze it onto the comics page

I've made dozens of short comics in my career, each drawn (ha) from over 20 pages of interviews! I know how hard it can be to focus on the good stuff.

In this course, we'll look at complex texts and we'll learn how to break them down into key points.

We'll look at how to make your comics have the have the emotional resonance to keep people reading.

We'll learn how to turn dialogue and facts into pictures that keep the reader engaged.

We'll work with your passions and curiosities.

About Me

I'm Jess Ruliffson. I started out as an illustrator and moved into comics as a way of connecting with the history and stories around me.

I've been interviewing veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars for a full-length graphic novel. I teach at the School of Visual Arts in New York, and I've given lectures and workshops at The Drawing Center, The Center for Cartoon Studies, and of course, the Sequential Artists Workshop in Gainesville. I recently completed artwork for "The Odyssey of Sergeant Jack Brennan" by Bryan Doerries, available from Pantheon Books. My other clients include The Boston Globe, Wilson Quarterly, Oxford American, E-Line Industries, Columbia University School of Journalism, Medium.com, PEN America, The NYC Police Foundation, Symbolia Magazine, The Cartoon Picayune, and So What? Press.

My students at The Sequential Artists Workshop loved my in-house non-fiction class, and have used these principles in their work!

You'll be working with me in a small structured community to reach your goals.

Join me as we dive into learning how to tell non-fiction comics!

Course Contents

15 Videos
18 Texts
8 PDFs
6.0 hrs

Course Curriculum

Jess Ruliffson
Jess Ruliffson
Instructor

About the Instructor

Jess Ruliffson is and award-winning cartoonist currently interviewing veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars for a full-length graphic novel. She’s given lectures and workshops at The Drawing Center, The Center for Cartoon Studies, and The Sequential Artist Workshop. She recently completed artwork for The Odyssey of Sergeant Jack Brennan by Bryan Doerries, available April 2016 from Pantheon Books. Other clients include The Boston Globe, Wilson Quarterly, Oxford American, E-Line Industries, Columbia University School of Journalism, Medium.com, PEN America, The NYC Police Foundation, Symbolia Magazine, The Cartoon Picayune, and So What? Press.

Jess Ruliffson's Website