Okay, you’ve had enough time to review your New Year’s Resolutions by now. For those who haven’t made up their mind or for those who have, here’s just a small sample of the many classes and courses to get you studying comic books and how to make them.
There’s also some classes for the young ones to foster their love of comic books (or to give parents some free time during the year).
Make no mistake — this list is not exhaustive. So if you know of others, please contact me at John@TrueNorthCountryComics.com and I’ll add them to this page.
Comic booking creating and learning is now in session.
Jan 5 to Mar 13
Cedar Ridge Creative Centre – Cartooning – 8 to 13 yrs – Toronto, ON
“Cartooning allows students to combine their love of drawing with storytelling. This course focuses on the knowledge and skills required to create a comic book with original cartoon characters, from storyboard to finished product. Other projects include comic strips, character study sheets, poster art and seasonal cartoons.”
Jan 6 to Mar 7
Avenue Road Arts School – Cartooning (Grades 2-5) – Toronto, ON
“Draw your very own cartoon characters, creatures, animals and magical beasts. Using a variety of artist’s tools and materials, including pencil, pen, ink, paint and more, students will design funny faces, outrageous bodies and the many dynamic actions and unique stories that go along with these new characters. Enjoy different projects each term! Taught by David Lapp.
Jan 8 to Apr 15
McTavish Academy of Art – Create Your Own Comic Book – 5 to 9 yrs – North Saanich, BC
“Learn the basics of storytelling with these creative drawing and comic classes! We will cover foundational skills such as shapes, proportion, perspective, inking, colour, and shadow, with a focus on using those skills to draw comics. Students will start by creating short comic strips and may progress to longer stories if they desire; students will take home comic strips, perspective drawings, paintings, a sculpture, and a mini-zine.”
January 10 to 31
AGO: COURSES FOR ADULTS – Toronto, ON
“Introduction to Comics – Have fun with comics and cartooning. Inspired by comic genres ranging from surreal psychedelic to autobiographic graphic medicine, you’ll enjoy a variety of exercises and create a mini-zine by the workshop’s end.”
Jan 11 to Mar 14
Ottawa School of Art – Comic Books and Cartooning – Ages 13-15 – Ottawa, ON
“This class is for students at all skill levels that need to draw and write seriously. They will learn and practice writing and drawing techniques and discover cartooning and comic book secrets. Students will apply their creativity to the production of comic strips, gag panels, caricatures, illustrations, and the development of personal projects.
Each season will include a lesson on drawing hands (realistic and cartoon), tips on writing and storytelling for comic books, and the production of a class magazine collecting original projects by the students.”
Jan 13 to Feb 17
Coast Collective – Comic Foundations – 9 to 14 yrs – Victoria, BC
“Learn the basics of storytelling with these creative drawing and comic classes! We will cover foundational skills such as shapes, proportion, perspective, inking, colour, and shadow, with a focus on using those skills to draw comics. Students will start by creating short comic strips and may progress to longer stories if they desire; students will take home comic strips, perspective drawings, paintings, a sculpture, and a mini-zine. Let your imagination go wild with great guidance by Audrey Greenlees.”
Jan 14 to Mar 31
CottonTale Cafe – ZAP! Comics for Beginners – 7 to 10 yrs – New Minas, NS
“This is a great place to start! Here, students will learn the basics of the comic book medium, working towards creating their own comic page. We will look at different forms of story telling, how to create characters, facial expressions, backgrounds and symbols of the medium. Students will finish with a solid foundation to build from as they develop their talents.”
Jan 15 to Apr 2
Visual Arts Centre – Comic Book Illustration – Montreal, PQ
“Combining images and words, comics are an exciting, accessible means of storytelling and self-expression. Learn basic illustration skills, including expressive figure drawing, inking, layout, character design, and storyline, which will then be brought together in the creation of your own short graphic book. The development of a unique voice and style will be encouraged. Taught by Julian Peters.”
Jan 18 to Feb 29
University of Regina – CPA Comic Book Hero – 10 to 15 yrs – Regina, SK
In Comic Book Hero your child will learn about the comic book greats and build both drawing and creative writing skills as they learn tips and hints to take home and try on their own. A book will be produced at the end of the class for participants to take home. This program is taught by Toby Anderson.
Jan 19 to Apr 16
Langara – Advanced Comic Storytelling – Vancouver, BC
“In this second level of writing for comics you’ll learn about both fiction and non-fiction aspects of comic book narrative. They will begin a term length project of creating a long script or series of shorter scripts of 32 pages in a theme of their choice. You can opt for an epic adventure single script or a short script/joke a week as in syndicated comics. You will also learn to create and edit dramatic and comical written content in both long and short form.”
Jan 22 to Feb 12
Drawing the Inside Out with Georgia Webber – Toronto, ON
In this workshop, comics artist Georgia Webber poses the question, “Why do we write about ourselves?” and invites you to join her investigation. Over four weeks, we will dive into the craft of comics, the practice of drawing, and the art of self-exploration. Though this workshop will not require its participants to share any personal details, we will learn that when we explore our personal language of, say, health and art, discoveries of the self emerge. Participants will engage in listening exercises, drawing games, and group discussion about translating our inner experience to the outer world, and how we value our creations. By the end of the course, we will all make a personal comic and print a zine of our own design. No previous drawing or writing practice required; all levels welcome!
Jan 22 to Mar 25
University of Saskatchewan – Comics, Graphic Novels and Manga – Saskatoon, SK
“This course is designed for artists who have completed Comics, Graphic Novels and Manga I, or any of the other entry level courses in the Community Arts and Artisanship Program. The first section of the course will be devoted to reviewing techniques for developing narratives arcs and character designs, including figure drawing, perspective drawing, storyboarding, character sketches, and comic page layouts. In the second half of the course, students will be given an opportunity to conceive and develop individual projects that showcase unique applications of their chosen mediums and techniques. Projects ideas will vary widely depending on the student. Some examples might include: a mini comic; a series of works that explores a particular theme or medium; a handmade book or portfolio for displaying concept art; a series of comic covers or splash pages. Throughout the course, students will be strongly encouraged to develop individual styles and modes of expression in a safe and supportive creative environment.
Jan 22 to Mar 25
CottonTale Cafe – BAM! Comics for Intermediate – 10 to 14 yrs – New Minas, NS
This course will encourage those looking to advance their skills in storytelling, drawing, lettering, inking, and page design! We will look more closely at tools used and specific styles to fit your comic book ideas. There will be a greater emphasis on developing a mini comic or collaborative comic story.
CSLW-N111 – Comics and Graphic Novels Studio – Toronto, ON
“In this interdisciplinary workshop series for writers, artists, and designers, students will experiment with the comic medium as they explore the interplay between image and text, form and content. Drawing cues from historical and contemporary examples of textual/graphic work, students will conceptualize comic projects in various forms, constructing compelling narratives through dialogue and visual representations. By the end of the series students should have produced short and longer form comics or graphic works.”
Jan 25 to Mar 7
Station Gallery – Comic Life – 7 to 11 yrs – Whitby, ON
“Action and adventure, drama and humour… In this class, children learn essential steps for creating their very own comic book. From character development and background design to the art of storytelling, young artists will put their ideas onto paper and marvel as their creations come to life! New activities every season.”
Feb 1 to Mar 14
Thunder Bay Art Gallery – The Joy of Drawing – Thunder Bay, ON – 5 to 7 yrs
Cartooning, life drawing, and more. Explore different materials, techniques and styles.
Toronto Public Library (Fairview) – Teen Cartooning Workshop – Toronto, ON
“Join local, award-winning cartoonist and Disney writer Megan Kearney for an informative, hands-on comics workshop. Learn all about the anatomy of a comic page and the essential parts of a cartoonist’s toolbox as you improve your cartooning skills.” https://www.torontopubliclibrary.ca/search.jsp?Ns=p_pub_date_sort&Nso=0&N=37867&Ntt=comic
Feb 21 to 23
NAIT – Character Design and Digital Inking – Edmonton, AB
“Want to create original art to use in graphic novels, comic books, video games, children’s books, magazines or advertising? Jump into the world of digital illustration and learn how to tell a story or send a message with a single image! Bring your digital art to life: create an original character, a corresponding environment, and a fully 2D-rendered illustration. Find out how to manipulate Adobe Photoshop, the most popular and powerful digital photography tool available. Join millions of graphic designers and artists, and learn how to create everything from web icons, graphics, and cartoons to illustrations for print and video with Adobe Illustrator.
A Digital Illustration and Comic Art Certificate will be awarded upon the completion of the 5 program courses.”
Mar 16 to 20
Maclaren Art Centre – Comic Book Creations – 6 to 11 yrs – Barrie, ON
“Join a regional artist for five days of art and story-making fun! Inspired by our current exhibitions and childhood stories, campers will explore story-making, comics, illustration and the creation of handmade books through the use of drawing, painting, book-binding and mixed media- techniques. This camp is the perfect way to make the most of March Break!”
Markham Public Library – Comics Culture Workshop #7 – Markham, ON
“Do you love comics? Local comic book store Heroes World is teaming up with MPL as we read and learn about comics and graphic novels. These workshops are all about superheroes! We will talk about comic books, do some fun activities, make up our own superheroes, and borrow some comics from the library.”
Mar 28 to 29
Emily Carr University of Art + Design – Graphic Novel Weekend Intensive (Teens) – Vancouver, BC
“This intensive workshop focuses on the production fundamentals of dynamic graphic novels, such as story boarding, character development, and narrative dialogue. Building off of students’ individual illustration and drawing styles, the Graphic Novel Weekend Intensive will help students transform their ideas and sketches into fully-realized/completed engaging graphic stories. This workshop will include in-class discussions and critiques to strengthen individual art, design and communication skills.”
Seneca College – From Comic Books To Graphic Novels – Winter 2020 – Toronto, ON
“This course examines the vitality and energy of comics (comic strips; comic books; graphic novels), demonstrating how they no longer appeal to nerds but, instead, have become one of the most significant art forms for our time. Join us and gain an appreciation of this ever-expanding genre as we explore the amazing stories in ‘comics,’ follow its evolution as an art form, and delve into the wondrous interaction of visual and written content – the visual words.”
June 22 to Aug 28
Appleby College – Cartoons and Comics – 7 to 12 yrs – Oakville, ON
“Youngsters aged 7-12 who enjoy cartoons and comics from books, movies and galaxies far away will love this camp! Cartoon and Comics Camp has sketched up a week of activities where campers can discover how to draw incredible cartoons and have an absolute ball while they’re at it. Talented artists and qualified staff teach campers sure-handed cartoon drawing skills to help their imaginations leap off the pages! As participants explore drawing and narration techniques, colourization, and the creation of a story-board creation, they will develop their very own comic creation. Learn about animation, and how animators create cartoons and movies. This hands-on program brings art to life using timelines and keyframes, all delivered in a fun, interactive and supportive manner!”
Jul 20 to 24 and Aug 24 to 28
Q Academy – Comic Creation – 7 to 14+ yrs – Victoria, BC
Pow! Wow! Screech! Does your child live and breathe comic books? Do you always find them reading their favorite Comic? Why not allow them to create their very own comic book, in our Comic Creation Camp! They will have loads of fun creating their own comic using your favorites characters or their own characters to develop your comic book story. Using computers, software, cameras, & imagination, kids will have tons of fun in this camp. At the end of the week, campers will be provided with a printed & digital copy of the comic book they created. Basic computer skills are necessary for this camp.
Max The Mutt – Illustration & Storytelling for Sequential Arts – Toronto, ON
“This program restructures the Illustration for Sequential Arts, and was designed with input from leading Canadian artists in the field. It gives students a broader, updated skill base that includes 21st century skills using digital media, creating mobile comics, knowledge of the entire Adobe Suite, essential graphic design and illustration for advertising skills, story boarding for film and advertising….and a fourth-year 2-semester graphic novel development course that will leave each graduate with a package that can be pitched to publishers. Core courses from the 3-year diploma remain part of the new diploma program. These include all the basics of creating, penciling and inking comics, storytelling and scripting for comics, and children’s book illustration.”