HOW TO MAKE A GRAPHIC NOVEL (6/7)

(Continued from Part 5: Character Design & Wordless Comics)

WHAT’S A JAM COMIC?

A jam comic is a collaborative comic between students, where the focus is to celebrate and play off of each other’s creations. One student might draw all of the pictures, while another adds the text. Another jam could be made while playing a comic version of tic tac toe. Students can also use prompts or limitations, such as starting each word with a successive letter of the alphabet, or including a symbol in each panel. The idea is to get students thinking in terms of comics in a fun way, and to play off of each other’s writing and artwork. (Even NPR likes a good jam!)

MAKE A JAM COMIC

Since ours was a larger class and we had more time together, we decided to make a one-page comic with nine panels. I asked each student to draw only the first panel in the comic, and then to pass it one person to their right, who would then draw the second panel in the story, and so on, until all nine panels had been completed. The limitation that I gave each student was that the first panel in the comic had to be the end of the story, so that the comic would be made backwards, from end to beginning. The last panel would be the beginning of the story. Admittedly, everyone groaned at the twist challenge, but by the third panel everybody was having a blast and enjoying their 10 minutes spent with each panel before passing it on.

The best part (of course) was reading everyone’s comics at the end of class. Everybody was laughing and pointing out their favorite parts. Some students got ideas to make more comics at home, and others talked about adding onto their comics outside of class.

Have you participated in a comic jam before? How did you like it? Did you pose any interesting limitations or challenges? Share your comments below.

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END OF PART 6

Start with Part 1 to learn more about the workshop and what we’re doing, and be sure to subscribe for more posts (top-right of this page).

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