Most people write words and put pictures to the words. Words, picture, words picture.
The picture is merely what the words are saying and It results in boring, sad, unimaginative, undramatic comics.
It doesn't lift off the page.
Maybe it informs, but it doesn't inspire...
You want to inspire!
This is the story you've been working on for years, or have dreamed about or lived!
Yes, you can learn to make your graphic novel soar!
You've got an idea...
or a whole story or project, already mapped out, maybe even written.
I've seen potential students at this point lose their way, feeling more lost and alone in their quest to find the vision in their story.
They settle for pictures of what the words already say.
They settle for boring their readers.
They settle for just putting pictures what they've written inside little boxes.
I won't let that happen to you!
Comics For Writers is a complete curriculum designed for scholars, historians, memoirists, journalists, storytellers and writers of all kinds looking to expand into graphic novels or short-form comics.
This is an online, continuous-running, self-paced course taught by Tom Hart, New York Times #1 Bestselling graphic novelist and founder of SAW—the Sequential Artists Workshop—in Gainesville, Florida.
If you have a story that you’d like to tell graphically, Comics for Writers will teach you what you need to know to make the transition!
Start any time and proceed at whatever speed works for you. Receive feedback on your work from Tom as you go.
I'm Tom Hart, a New York Times #1 Bestselling graphic novelist who has been creating comics tirelessly since about 1993.
Despite my decades of drawing, it took me years to figure out that I'm a writer first, and now that I have, I have made it my passion to help people tell their stories.
Some of my favorite graphic novels and memoirs succeed on the power of their writing, with the images serving the ideas and story. Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home and Are You My Mother? And Art Spiegelman’s Maus come to mind.
When I needed to make my most important book, my book about my fabulous daughter, I knew I didn't have the visual skills to make you believe it was happening in front of you, and that's not what the book was about. It was an internal book. To work, it needed to rely on honesty, concepts, and language.
My memoir, Rosalie Lightning, relies on the power of the thought and emotion behind it, not on the skill of the drawings.
Every work I create starts with copious notes, and pages and pages of free-writing. From there I try to find the magic combinations of words and pictures to let the ideas soar.
I know where writers like you are coming from—and I know how to make the jump from prose to image.
Comics For Writers collects what I’ve taught for 16 years and tailors it for people like you, who are used to words and ideas, but just starting to work with images, visual narrative and design.
When you join Comics for Writers, you'll have immediate access to hours of seasoned instruction, inspiration, presentations and exercises to get you understanding how comics can be magic and to make that magic yourself.
You'll use what you're good at—writing—to create good, well-written comics. And you’ll share what you’ve created via a SAW Online Google+ Group.
I won't teach you to draw, but I'll teach you to plan the drawings, (whether those will be finished by you or someone else), to think about your visuals and to craft your story through comics.
You’ll find your way—and your voice.
“I was fortunate to discover SAW as a resource for working on my graphic history, Perpetua's Journey. Tom Hart was an incredible teacher and our lessons discussed how to make my project, a prison diary, come to life in sequential art. Tom has said that creating comics is all about "writing, drawing, thinking, history, and responding," and we discussed all of these topics during my lessons."”
“It’s been many years since [this story] made me sad, but there, in class, as I transformed the words into visual images, I sobbed.”
- Welcome and Community Link
- Introduction TEXT Format FREE PREVIEW
- Introduction PDF Format FREE PREVIEW
- What We'll Cover Intro Video FREE PREVIEW
- Cartoon Language Simple PDF FREE PREVIEW
- Comics Basics - VIDEO FREE PREVIEW
- Blank Grids FREE PREVIEW
- If Desired, Download the Full Instructional PDF Here
- The First Mistake Most Writers Make. FREE PREVIEW
- Section 3 - Cause and Effect Objective FREE PREVIEW
- Video Intro to Section 3 FREE PREVIEW
- Cause and Effect Info and Assignment PDF Format
- Cause and Effect Info and Assignment TEXT Format
- Some Silent Stories VIDEO PRESENTATION
- Some Silent Stories PDF PRESENTATION
- Jim Woodring Congress of the Animals Preview PDF
- BONUS: Faces and Emotions PDF
- Section 4 - Objective FREE PREVIEW
- Video Introduction to Section 4 FREE PREVIEW
- Time Through The Panels Info and Assignment TEXT Format
- Time Through The Panels Info and Assignment PDF Format
- Time Through The Panels WORKSHOP Video
- Time Through The Panels WORKSHOP PDF
- BONUS - Steve Canyon Multi-Panel Exercise
- BONUS - Comics Kuleshov
- Discord and Rhyme - Objective FREE PREVIEW
- Video Intro to Section 5 FREE PREVIEW
- Discord and Rhyme Info and Assignments PDF Format
- Discord and Rhyme Info and Assignment 1 TEXT Format
- Chris Ware - I Guess PDF
- Discord and Rhyme Info and Assignment 2 TEXT Format
- INSTRUCTIONAL: How To Use Nancy Panels for your Assignment
- McCloud Chapter 6 Show and Tell
- VIDEO: David B - Epileptic and the Dragon Metaphor
- Thinking With Your Artist Objective FREE PREVIEW
- Video Intro to Section 6 FREE PREVIEW
- Thinking With Your Artist Info and Assignment PDF Format
- Thinking With Your Artist Info and Assignment TEXT Format
- Some Principles of Visual Communication
- Staging Video
- Visual Language Visual Metaphor
- Disney Storytelling Handout PDF
- The Odyssey of Sergeant Jack Brennan 8-page script PDF Resource
- The Odyssey of Sergeant Jack Brennan Script to Finish VIDEO NOTES
- BONUS: Drawing for Comics , From Creating Professional Comic Strips PDF
- BONUS: Wally Wood 22 Panels PDF
- BONUS: A Quick Look at Visual References VIDEO
- BONUS: Watchmen Script by Alan Moore. Thumbnails by Dave Gibbons PDF
- BONUS: Stan Lee on the "Marvel Method"
- BONUS: Stan Lee, 1966 on The Marvel Method
- You Can't Do This in the Movies Objective FREE PREVIEW
- Video Intro to Section 8 FREE PREVIEW
- You Can't Do This in the Movies VIDEO PRESENTATION
- You Can't Do This in the Movies PDF PRESENTATION
- You Can't Do This in the Movies Info and Assignment PDF FORMAT
- You Can't Do This in the Movies Info and Assignment TEXT Format
- BONUS: Osamu Tezuka Kirihito Examples
- How to Say Everything - Mining the Linefield Chapter PDF
- Finding a Visual Style from The Art of the Graphic Memoir - PDF
Is this a self-guided course or is there a community aspect?
This course is self-guided but includes access to a Google+ group of people working on this course. There have been lots of great work posted already!
Tom Hart is very active on Google+ and responds thoroughly to all Comics For Writers posts.
Additionally, Tom Hart posts frequent updates, challenges, ideas and exercises.
I'm already an artist, is this course for me?
The course is for anyone who wants/needs to understand how comics works , and how words and images work together.
In other words, it doesn't teach writing- like story, character, plot, and it doesn't teach drawing- like anatomy, composition, style, it teaches how to think about the words and the pictures so they serve the story you've brought or been given.
What materials will I need?
Pens, pencils, whatever you’re comfortable with. Printer paper or sketchbook. You'll need at least one page of your own prose, or something you'd like to adapt anyway.
What's the final outcome of the course?
You will have adapted in rough form, a single page of prose twice (from my friend Jenny Offill) and one of your own pieces of work into script, then panels and then a page. Additionally, we will have completed at least four other substantial exercises.
You'll be amazed at how much you learned!
Can I get a refund?
Before 1 week, yes, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Is this similar to classes you run at SAW?
I ran this in person at SAW in Feb-March 2017 and it went awesomely. Here we are at culmination celebration!
Other questions? Email email@example.com
Tom Hart is a cartoonist has been the Executive Director of The Sequential Artists Workshop, a school and arts organization in Gainesville, Florida since 2012.
His 2016 memoir, Rosalie Lightning, debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List and was featured on many Best-Of-2016 lists.
His Hutch Owen series of graphic novels and books, were nominated for all the major industry awards. His The Collected Hutch Owenwas nominated for best graphic novel in 2000. He was an early recipient of a Xeric Grant for self-publishing cartoonists, and has been on many best-of lists in the Comics Journal and other comix publications. He has been called “One of the great underrated cartoonists of our time” by Eddie Campbell and “One of my favorite cartoonists of the decade” by Scott McCloud. His daily Hutch Owen comic strip ran for 2 years in newspapers in New York and Boston, and his “Ali’s House”, co-created with Margo Dabaie was picked up by King Features Syndicate.
He was a core instructor at New York City’s School of Visual Arts for 10 years, teaching cartooning to undergraduates, working adults and teens alike. Among his students were Dash Shaw, Sarah Glidden Box Brown and other published cartoonists like Leslie Stein, Jessica Fink,Josh Bayer, Brendan Leachand many others. He has taught comix and sequential art at schools and institutions all around New York City for more than 10 years, and has conducted week-long workshops from Maine to Hawaii. He also teaches sequential art in the School of Art and Art History at UF.
His website is http://www.tomhart.net
Executive Director of The Sequential Artists Workshoptom@sequentialartistsworkshop.org
All Courses, Storytelling, Mini-Courses, Tom's Courses
Creating Your Graphic Memoir - 16 Videos and 8 PDFs(3)
The Art of Telling Your Personal Story in Comics. This self-guided course of videos and exercises will help you on your way.
Storytelling with The Odyssey of Sergeant Jack Brennan
Non-Fiction Comics for Writers