Comics Workbook Workshops at SPX 2019

Join Juan Fernandez and the Comics Workbook gang for a series of workshops featuring hands-on instruction from some of the most talented makers of independent comics. All workshops will held in the Glen Echo and Oakley rooms downstairs at the Marriott Hotel. Please consult the workshop schedule and sign up in advance to insure a spot. Walk-ins will be welcome, however, space permitting.

(Curious about this years panels? Check out the rest of the fantastic programming available at SPX this year.)



 Comics Making with Richie Pope 

11:00 – 12:00 pm Glen Echo Room

Take a crash course in comics making – for kids big and small. We will bring the grids, the markers, the know-how – you bring your personal spark. Discover the comics-maker within you and let them out! Join Richie Pope for an easy foray into comics making – the perfect thing to start a weekend at SPX! All ages.

 How to ensure your comics projects get the love they deserve with Jessica Abel 

12:00 – 1:00 pm Glen Echo Room

Join Jessica Abel and design your days with clarity and purpose, so the things that get done are what you care about most. Figure out where your time really goes, and use that information to create an action plan for your week built around your current reality, not some fantasy version of your life. Make smart, conscious decisions about your time, and take control of your creative life.

 Clay Sculpture Characters with Liz Reed 

1:00 – 2:00 pm Glen Echo Room

Learn how to make miniature clay cakes with Sweet Success & Sweet Competition author/sculptor Liz Reed. Attendees will create their very own unique clay character as Liz guides the class through different sculpting techniques using everyday household items.

 Kickstarter Presents: How to write a logline 

2:00 – 3:00 pm Glen Echo Room

Loglines aren’t just for screenwriters. If you’ve ever put together a pitch for a publisher or just needed 1-2 sentences for a Kickstarter project description, knowing how to communicate your story in a concise and effective way is essential for any comics creator. Led by Kickstarter’s Comics Outreach Lead Camilla Zhang, this workshop will help you craft a compelling logline or refine one you already have in the works. If you have a pitch you’d like to workshop, please bring up to 20 copies.

 Storytelling Flow 

3:00 – 4:00 pm Glen Echo Room

Tom Hart, the founder of The Sequential Artist’s Workshop (SAW), will help you with your storytelling flow! Feeling stuck? Tense? Like you can’t figure out which way to turn? Not sure which idea to build on or how to tell a good idea from a bad? Do you feel overwhelmed or underwhelmed by your own ideas? Loosen up and follow your story ideas from beginning to end in this workshop. Daydreaming, not drawing skill, is necessary.

 Then What Happened? How To Tell Your Story In A Way That Invites, Excites, And Delights! 

4:00 – 5:00 pm Glen Echo Room

Rachel Masilamani will lead a workshop for people who draw and people who don’t think that they can draw of all ages. We’ll work on shaping stories together. What comes first? What comes second, and how can we tie it all together?

 Autobio Comics Workshop with Fifi Martinez 

5:00 – 6:00 pm Glen Echo Room

Join cartoonist Fifi Martinez to learn how to explore how we can capture and share the emotional essence of what our subjective lives feel like in real time through comics. Using drawing, writing, diagramming and the collage-like capacity of comics, attendees will experience what it is like to keep a comics diary and how their comics can be used for reflection, meditation, and healing.

 Storytelling with Space and Depth 

6:00 – 7:00 pm Glen Echo Room

Emil Friis Ernst takes you through the basics of spatial design to boost your visual vocabulary with a third dimension. In this workshop, you will learn how to put characters in perspective easily, use the space around a character to tell a story, and use the third dimension to make poetry.


 Visual Language Theory – Applying Linguistics Principles to Comics Making and Reading 

12:00 – 1:00 pm Oakley Room

The ability to draw is a basic human ability, and sequential images are prevalent across human history. This fundamental aspect of human expression yields several important questions, such as how are such individual and sequential images structured, and how do people process and comprehend them?

Join Juan Fernandez to learn how Visual Language Theory offers a framework to answer these questions and how principles and methods of the linguistic and cognitive sciences can enrich and expand our ability to make, read, and teach comics.

 Don’t Weaken: Strategies For Staying Strong Through Your Cartooning Decades with Carol Tyler 

1:00 – 2:00 pm Oakley Room

Estate Planning, Preventative Care, and Health and Wellness: these often neglected issues can up have huge impacts on the lives of cartoonists and those around them if not considered early on in life. Join Carol Tyler for an intergenerational community discussion on how we can create a better world for cartoonists to work and live.

 Exploring Your Immigrant Story & Personal History With Mini Zines 

2:00 – 3:00 pm Oakley Room

In this workshop, you will work with NPR’s Malaka Gharib, the author of I WAS THEIR AMERICAN DREAM: A Graphic Memoir, on using the mini-zine format to explore your personal histories. In a brief presentation, she will discuss the power of mini zines in inspiring artists to make short and completable creative projects that are perfectly sharable in the Instagram age. Using deliberate questions aimed to have participants reflect on their own personal immigration stories, participants will create their own zine. This workshop is intended for anyone with an immigrant story to share, and all are welcome! At the workshop, we hope you will be able to complete one mini zine using a template or your own design.

 Shared Studios vs. Solo Workspaces for Cartoonists: The Ins and Outs with Aimée de Jongh and Kenny Rubenis 

3:00 – 4:00 pm Oakley Room

Cartoonists can work in many different ways, shared studios, solo studios, and from home, each of which are conducive to very different kinds of work. Join Aimée De Jongh & Kenny Rubinis to discuss the art and craft of the cartoonist’s workspace. Among the topics covered will be the advantages and disadvantages of each kind of workspace.

 Kickstarter Presents: How to build a community around your work 

4:00 – 5:00 pm Oakley Room

Kickstarter may be the place to expose your comics project to a wider audience, but the secret to crowdfunding will always lie in the crowd! Build your community building muscle and learn some outreach tips and tricks at this fun workshop, where you can make new connections and reaffirm old ones. This session will be led by Kickstarter’s Comics Outreach Lead, Camilla Zhang.

 Visual Storytelling in Comics and Cinema 

5:00 – 6:00 pm Oakley Room

Comics language and cinematic language are two distinct, yet related visual dialects. Each offers unique advantages in creating engaging experiences for audiences. We’ll dive in and dissect the work of a few specific animation designers as we broadly discuss composition and sequential storytelling tools as they might pertain to all visual storytelling media, focusing on emotion, engagement, charm, and clarity. Bring a sketchbook to record your visual thoughts as we take a deep dive into some tools that might help broaden your approach to storytelling.

Check out the rest of the fantastic programming available at SPX this year – HERE!


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