the Drawing Words & Writing Pictures project

The Drawing Words & Writing Pictures project is comprised of two textbooks and a website, all by Jessica Abel and Matt Madden. In a bit of either brilliance or perversity, we’ve named the project overall Drawing Words & Writing Pictures, the first of two textbooks Drawing Words & Writing Pictures (aka DWWP), and the website ALSO Drawing Words & Writing Pictures (aka The second textbook is, thankfully, called Mastering Comics (but it’s also Drawing Words & Writing Pictures continued)…

Drawing-Words-dwwp-thumbDrawing Words & Writing Pictures (the textbook)

The textbook Drawing Words & Writing Pictures lays out systematic course teaching the alchemical art of combining words and pictures to make comics. In it, authors Jessica Abel and Matt Madden have laid out a complete, structured syllabus that guides students from creating narrative within a single drawing to orchestrating all the skills involved in creating a multi-page, complex story.


“A goldmine of essential information for every aspiring comics artist.  Highly recommended.”
-Scott McCloud

Read an excerpt of Drawing Words & Writing Pictures, or buy it from the publisher or your favorite vendor.

Find out more by going to the Drawing Words & Writing Pictures webpage.

Mastering Comics

MC-cover-thumbMastering Comics, the companion book to Drawing Words & Writing Pictures, came out in May 2012. Like the first volume, it weaves together a number of inter-related streams. These include:

  • creating and developing stories
  • coloring, both by hand and using the computer
  • expanding your inking palette–incuding digital inking
  • perspective basics: both linear perspective and other systems
  • reviewing topics and techniques from volume one and taking them deeper
  • making and publishing webcomics
  • getting your work published, from agents to promotions

Read an excerpt of Mastering Comics, or buy it directly from the publisher or from your favorite vendor.

You can find out more by going to the Mastering Comics page on

The DWWP website is a treasure trove of information for cartoonists, students, educators, and avid readers of comics. Check out the DWWP homepage and blog, or go straight to links curated for you:

  • educators (in an art school, high school, museum, library)
  • students of comics (enrolled in school or learning on your own time)
  • comics readers (long-time fans or curious new readers)
  • practicing cartoonists (grizzled vets or wide-eyed webcartoonists)