Thursday, September 15, 2016

Art Explorers - Comic Book Art

This was my first Art Explorers idea that I created. My example is pretty much was totally awesome and one of my favorites because of the humor!

  • For children ages 6 through 12 yrs
  • Must register prior to program due to limited space. If space allows, children can walk in day off. 
  • 1 hour in length

Comic Book Art (aka graphic novels!)


I began with the program a quick explanation of what comic books/graphic novels are. Obviously, you have to ask the question, "Does anyone read graphic novels or comic books or comics in the newspaper?" and generally all hands will jump up in excitement. Who doesn't like comics? I focused more on graphic novels that did not involve a superhero. Books that I highlighted included, "Calvin & Hobbes," "The Graveyard Book," and so on. I also explained that certain style like Pokemon or other manga books you actually read from back to front instead of the typical front to back. I also explained to the parents who sat in the back that reading graphic novels is actually good reading because the readers have to decode what is happening in the story by looking at the pictures and reading through the limited dialog text or no text at all if it's a wordless graphic novel.

  • Comic panel templates - printed on copy paper and/or card stock 
  • Pencils
  • Black pens 
  • Stapler
I found a link via Pinterest that took me to the blog Inner Child Fun - Free Printable Comic Pages to make my templates. I printed out all of the inside panels on regular copy paper (double sided) and the cover on card stock. The children could use as many panels as they needed for their book, but they started out with two pages (that's 8 book pages of panels) to tell their story. The children could draw their story before folding the papers and stapling them together to make the book or they could do that first. I preferred having them make the book first so that they don't get their panels mixed up when the book is made.

As for the drawing potion of their creations I had them start out with pencils. If they wanted to, they could then go over the pencil lines with a black pen.

 The kids LOVED it! There were so many cool story ideas going on. One girl made a story about a superhero helping the librarian fix a stapler, which was influenced by the fact that two of staplers broke at the beginning of the program (AH!). There were a couple of children who struggled with coming up with an idea, so I offered them prompts like. Pick and animal you like. Have them do something that they typically wouldn't do. That generally did the trick.

This was a pretty cool program, and I would definitely do this theme again.

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