Top Shelf Productions


Teaching Comics

May 22, 2013

In the Fall term of 2012 i began my first teaching gig at PNCA (Pacific Northwest College of Art) here in Portland, OR. I'm teaching it again for the current Spring term. The class is more or less a broad comics course — part of the non-credited Continuing Education program at the school — geared to towards newcomers to the medium, and how they might conceive, execute, rollout, and promote their work.

I wasn't sure what to expect when i first started. How could i? Not only have i never taught before (outside of tipsy barroom banter), i haven't taken any school courses myself in a very long time. The class size for both terms has been relatively small, and frankly, that puts me at ease. I'm not certain how i would need to alter my teaching style and the actual nature of the course itself if i had to accommodate a larger class. The smaller, more informal structure works to my own and the students' advantage, insomuch as i'm able to work directly with the students in helping them determine their goals, as well as actually making those goals come to fruition. The smaller class size also creates a tangible camaraderie amongst the students which further allows for peer-to-peer feedback and assistance.

Over the weekend of June 21-23 i will be co-hosting, alongside Ryan Alexander-Tanner a weekend long Graphic Novel Intensive workshop. Here's what we came up with for a description:

"Graphic Novel Intensive at Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, Oregon, Jun 21, 2013 - Jun 23, 2013. Join our 7th Annual Intensive Workshop and let us assist you in making your comic book aspirations a reality. Create a blueprint with clear, achievable goals for moving forward in your career, whether your interests are in self-publishing original narratives or doing collaborative work-for-hire.

"Ryan Alexander-Tanner, artist/writer of To Teach, in-house illustrator for Dave’s Killer Bread, and Brett Warnock, Publisher at Top Shelf Productions, lead the Intensive, now in its seventh year. Guest presenters include Matt Bors, Kelly Sue DeConnick, Matt Fraction, Jöelle Jones and Katie Lane."

If you're new to the medium and/or aspire to learn more about the industry and create your own comics, this is a terrific opportunity to do so.

More info here!

And here's the poster (rough & final) that Ryan made for the event: