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ART 19 — Visual Storytelling: An Exploration of Graphic Novels

Quarter: Fall
Day(s): Tuesdays
Course Format: Live Online (About Formats)
Duration: 8 weeks
Date(s): Oct 10—Dec 5
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Refund Deadline: Oct 12
Unit: 1
Grade Restriction: No letter grade
Tuition: $465
Instructor(s): Mark Fearing
Limit: 25
Class Recording Available: Yes
Status: Open
Please Note: No class on November 21
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Live Online(About Formats)
7:00—8:50 pm (PT)
Oct 10—Dec 5
8 weeks
Refund Date
Oct 12
1 Unit
Grade Restriction
No letter grade
Mark Fearing
Please Note: No class on November 21
ACCESS THE SYLLABUS » (subject to change)
Graphic novels are having their moment. In 1964, comics critic and historian Richard Kyle coined the term “graphic novel” in reference to Japanese and European comics because it reflected the longer and more intricate stories emerging at the time. Now the term applies to books for every age group on topics spanning from joyous young reader material to insightful, in-depth journalism and dramatic personal stories. Why is this format so compelling now? What does it offer readers that other media do not?

In this course, we will explore all aspects of the graphic novel, beginning with a brief investigation of the history of visual storytelling dating back millennia. We’ll examine various cultural traditions that have historical relevance in defining today’s graphic novels. And we’ll cover practical considerations: What is the market for graphic novels? How does one query graphic novel publishers? As a writer, what portions of the narrative actually end up on the page? As an illustrator, what do submissions look like? Through lectures and short projects, supplemented by visits from industry experts, students in this course will develop their understanding of this fascinating medium and ultimately will have an opportunity to turn their own story ideas into a manuscript mock-up.

This course is designed for anyone interested in visual storytelling. If you previously took this course, there will be an advanced path to encourage the completion of a larger project.

Author; Illustrator

Mark Fearing has been a production manager for Disney Television Animation, an art director for Sony Online Entertainment, and a creative director of new media for Pearson Television. He has also worked as a graphic designer for Apple, Microsoft, and Adobe and has written and/or illustrated over 27 award-winning picture books and graphic novels. His animated short film, The Thing with No Head, aired on Nicktoons and has been seen in film festivals around the world. His graphic novels include Earthling! and the Welcome to Feral series. Fearing received a BFA from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and attended UCLA’s MFA animation program.

Textbooks for this course:

There are no required textbooks; however, some fee-based online readings may be assigned.