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Course Description

This hands-on design course introduces students to the creation of comics and graphic novels and explores the art and craft of illustrated narratives for storytelling and expression. Students meet online 4 days per week over a 4 week period with Parsons faculty and an international cohort of peers for real-time creative and technical design instruction, project design development guidance, and group and individual critiques. Live instruction is supplemented with digitally archived project support and reference resources. This exploratory design course incorporates structured away time from the computer in which students investigate world events, social issues, and personal experiences and interests as a springboard for design inspiration, direction, and production. Students learn the fundamentals of research, the history and cultural significance of graphic literature, creative writing, analog and digital illustrative art styles and techniques, design of dynamic page layouts incorporating typography and imagery, and the creation of analog and digital visual presentations. Digital tools, including the Adobe Creative Cloud, are introduced. The four-week experience includes guest speakers from industry and virtual field trips. From the start of the course, students keep an online journal to document their research and creative processes and participate in individual and collaborative design exercises to raise their understanding of different writing, illustration, and graphic design styles and techniques. Each student creates an original comic strip series, comic book, zine, or chapter from a graphic novel in the publishing format of their preference.

Learner Outcomes

  • Show an understanding of the virtual design studio environment and practice by participating in a variety of synchronous (real-time interaction) and asynchronous (structured "away-time") activities including lectures, demos, and discussions; individual and collaborative exercises and projects; and self and peer critiques.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the practice and application of primary and secondary research and its impact on creative and technical processes, including themes derived from observing and interpreting world events, social issues, and personal experiences.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the iterative creative process by maintaining analog and/or digital process journals/sketchbooks documenting research, ideation studies, resolved designs, commentary, and self-reflection.
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the history and cultural significance of graphic literature as they explore the art and craft of creating illustrated narratives for storytelling and expression.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of comics and graphic novels categories, styles, creative processes, presentation, and publishing formats.
  • Acquire writing, illustration (analog and digital), and graphic design skills pertinent to the creation of illustrated narratives.
  • Acquire the skills to create and curate a cohesive body of design work that supports a visual narrative expressive of an individual and evolving design identity.

Additional Information

This course is one offering from our Parsons Online Summer Intensive Studies program. For more information on schedule, registration, and refund policies, see program details.
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