This Saturday I had the pleasure of presenting a workshop at the Mansfield University Summer Gateway retreat at the Thousand Hills Center. These are students who will be freshmen in the fall. The weekend was about literacy of all kinds. I presented a workshop on comics.
I started by asking them to write down the first ten words they thought of when I said "Comics". Like most people, they thought of words like: funny, short, superheroes, Stan Lee, and so on.
I had brought with me a big tub of comics of all kinds: comics diaries, journalism, graphic narratives, and so many different types. Then we had a discussion about the unexpected discoveries they made about the types of stories comics can tell.
No workshop like this is complete without giving it a try! Everybody tried their hand at making a one page comic strip. My challenge to them was to think of the last thing that happened to them that made them laugh. That is the punchline, now -- what do you have to show us so that we can "get" the joke. How many panels will you have to draw. Students of every conceivable major were there and they were very open-minded and a good sport about it. And, some of them were hi-larious!