What’s Goin’ On At Webcomic Camp

Hilary Price visits2
(Hilary Price of Rhymes with Orange works with the camp on a brainstorming activity)

Yesterday was our first day of Webcomics Camp, where we have 13 middle school students with a passion for comics learning about the world of art and writing and sequential art. The four hours flew by, but here is a taste of what they did yesterday:

  • They started off with a comic I provided them from Bill Zimmerman’s site in which they had to fill in some dialogue. We talked about the nature of a one-frame comic, and how you use humor and punch lines to make a joke.
  • I had them take a survey about their interest in reading and writing comics. I’ll share the results tomorrow. It’s a small sample, obviously, but still, interesting results.
  • They spent some time on Make Beliefs Comics and had to create a comic, which they could email to me, if they wanted it published at our Webcomic Camp website, where each camper has their own page that will become populated with comics and art as the week progresses.
  • We started a discussion around character development and the use of a “defining feature” that sets the character apart and allows the writer to use that feature for humor. Then, they began creating some characters for a “character” wall in our classroom. There are some amazing artists in this group!
  • We had a special guest — Hilary Price, of Rhymes with Orange comic (syndicated in about 150 newspapers — came in to work with the kids on how to brainstorm creative ideas and develop a comic out of those ideas. Together, the class created a comic about Carmen Miranda as a thief who nails people in the head with a pineapple from her hat. Don’t ask. You had to be there.
  • They spent much of the last part of class working on their characters or beginning to work on a comic. (One example: the tale of a battered stuffed animal that uses a time machine that always goes wrong and he ends up in places like the belly of a dinosaur, etc.)
  • We ended the day by watching the first part of The Cartoonist documentary, about Jeff Smith and the Bone series of graphic novels, which most of the kids had read.

More camp today ..

Peace (with the kids),

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