speaking engagements and workshops

Public speaking

I have given lectures at many schools and institutions, including Penn State, the Michigan Library Association, the Philadelphia Free Library, the Wexner Center for the Arts at the University of Ohio, the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, Syracuse University, and Parsons School of Art.

I give lectures fully illustrated with dynamic and engaging art. If speaking about my own work, I often read comics aloud, and combine this with discussion of the behind-the-scenes stages of development that lead to published work. I commonly speak about teaching comics (and teaching with comics), using classroom examples, and offering take-away activities for students and teachers. I am also prepared to speak on the art and craft of storytelling, the state of contemporary comics and graphic novels and women in comics, among other topics. I have participated in, organized, and moderated roundtables with other artists, which has proved a very interesting and fruitful format.

Workshops and short courses

As part of a campus or library visit, I’ll often offer a short workshop before or after a public lecture, which I find to be a very satisfying corollary for those who are more intensely interested in making comics or learning to teach them. I frequently travel to give short workshops. Check the blog for upcoming dates. Take a look at my learning comics section for more information and links, as well as Drawing Words & Writing for tons of resources that will give you a good idea of what I can teach.

I have taught everything from a one-hour seminar to a one-year course in comics. Many of the topics I cover can be adapted to any level of drawing ability. Some are adaptable to all age groups, though the majority are suited for college-age and older participants. All have flexible syllabi and can be adapted or redesigned to suit individual circumstances.

Sample courses

Hands-on drawing, adaptable to all skill levels

Understanding the essentials of comics language (1-3 hours)

Basic comics workshop (2 weekends or 1 week)

Comics storytelling (1-2 weeks)

Hands-on, for students with drawing skills

Composition and perspective for storytelling (2 weekends or 1 week)

Advanced storytelling workshop (2 weeks)

Comics master classes on various topics (2 weekends or 1 week)

Reading and understanding comics

How to read comics (1-2 hours)

Comics literature workshop (adaptable to any length)

Non-fiction comics (adaptable to any length)