Graphic Memoir Online Course with Tom Hart

Creating Your Graphic Memoir

The Art of Telling Your Personal Story in Comics. Led by New York Times #1 bestselling graphic memoirist Tom Hart.

Watch Intro Video

Start down the path with this self-guided course.

In this video series, I'll show you loads about creating a graphic memoir. You'll see more than 20 master examples and complete more than 20 exercises to get us better and deeper into your own story. 

With these steps, you can go step by step from idea to completion and gather lots of tools and inspirations on the way.

I share my experiences in creating my recent full-length memoir, Rosalie Lightning ( ), by showing detailed notes, sketches and drafts. That book was excerpted in Best American Comics 2015 by Houghton Mifflin and debuted at #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List.

The course is divided into 8 steps:

  1. What Can Comics Do? Works cited: Smile, Raina Telgemeier; Theth, Josh Bayer; Epileptic, David B.; Fun Home, Alison Bechdel
  2. Gathering Material. Works cited: King-Cat, John Porcellino; Silly Daddy, Joe Chiappetta; 100 Demons, Lynda Barry
  3. Organizing the Story. Works cited: Kampung Boy, Lat; Nononba, Shigeru Mizuki; We Can Fix It, Jess Fink
  4. Finding a Visual Style. Works cited: Graffiti Kitchen, Eddie Campbell; David Chelsea in Love, David Chelsea; Dance by the Light of the Moon, Judith Vanistendael
  5. Choosing Storytelling Styles. Works cited: To the Heart of the Storm, Will Eisner; Fun Home, Alison Bechdel, Can't We Talk About Something More Pleasant?, Roz Chast
  6. Visual Language, Visual Experience. Works cited: Epileptic, David B.; Monsters, Ken Dahl, You'll Never Know, Carol Tyler;
  7. Starting and Working. Works cited: How To Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less, Sarah Glidden; Make Me a Woman, Vanessa Davis; July Diary, The Voyeurs, Gabrielle Bell
  8. Working and Finishing. Works cited: Calling Dr. Laura, Nicole Georges; Maus, MetaMaus, Art Spiegelman; The Photographer, Dieder Lefevre, Emmanuel Guibert, Frederic Lemercier

In each step you'll take a quick look at three great graphic memoirs that exemplify the topic we’re looking at, and then you'll see an in-depth look at my approach to that step.

And then in PDF form, we’ll complete at least three exercises related to each step, drawing from those master memoirs to get us further along. The PDFs will also include an even more in-depth look into the process of creating my book.

So grab a pencil, call up those stories you’ve always wanted to tell, or that you’ve told but never drawn, and let’s get started.

Thanks for attending!


Course Curriculum


What's included?

16 Videos
2 Texts
32 PDFs
Tom Hart
Tom Hart
Executive Director of The Sequential Artists Workshop

About the instructor

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.

A couple other recent books:
Daddy Lightning
Let’s Get Furious
The Sequential Artists Workshop Guide to Making Professional Comic Strips

His website is

What others have been saying about this course:

Dionne Lapointe

Great Introduction to Graphic Memoir writing

I've decided to tackle my very first graphic memoir and was looking for some guidance online. I'm so glad I came across this course. It was just what I needed. What I appreciated about the course was it's openness. It strikes a nice balance betwee...


A very detailed course that shows the processes involved in writing graphic memoirs with great examples

I am so glad I stumbled on this course as I was looking into writing a graphic memoir. Thanks to Tom for sharing such a personal experience with us and for enabling us to tell our own stories. I will be revisiting the course until I am confident e...

Take a dive into the Graphic Memoir Course!

Let's get started!

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