Meet the Artists

Yasmine Abdallat
Macaroni Pony (Pencil, Ink Sharpie, Markers)

I wanted to do a couple of different things with my work. First, I love animals, especially horses, for they are my passion in life, so I just had to do a story that incorporates them in it. I want my art work, whether comic book, painting, photography or ceramics, to come from personal and sentimental inspiration. Macaroni Pony is the main character and he shares physical and/or personality traits with all my horses. In my comic, each one of my horses, and my dog, make a cameo or a small part of the story. Some events in the story are based off of personal experiences of mine at the stables and horse shows (except the fish part) that I thought would make a unique comic. I have always wanted to do children’s stories, so I gave it a very childlike quality. I wanted the comic to emulate a child’s coloring book that a kid had colored.


NaziaBioPhotoNazia Athar
The Adventures of Spaceboy and Schmoop Boop (Digital)

Originally I wanted to do a very serious comic, but one day during Geology class I drew this one panel of a little spaceboy and a robot on a comet. I was instantly drawn to it and thought up an entire background and plot for my characters. For my main characters, Spaceboy and Schmoop Boop, I wanted them to have warm colors and round features to show the difference between them and the aliens. My aliens, M’lem Floo, the space cow and the Catragon all have three eyes, pointed features, and cool colors. I hope you guys enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed drawing it!


AshleyAshley Cruz
Starlight (Micron Inking, Copic Markers)

Last year my mom took a trip to see her family in Mexico and took around a month off to be with her. I am sure she wishes the trip could have lasted longer, but I thought that she couldn’t get home fast enough.

When I went to pick her up at the airport, it felt like I could relax. I was happy but also relieved to have her back home. And when we were given our project to make a comic, my mind immediately went to this memory.

My characters are a werewolf and vampire, but I kept them as supernatural because I thought it was a playful emphasis on how almost everyone has had these feelings of anxiety and relief when being reunited with a loved one. I hope you enjoy the comic! :-)

Francesca DominguezFrancesca Dominguez
The Mighty Win (Ink)

I was inspired by Calvin & Hobbes and Winnie the Pooh because they really give the reader the essence of childhood, which is what I was trying to depict. I wanted my comic to be kid-friendly and something they could enjoy and look up to. My ultimate goal is for kids or adults to see themselves in Winston and realize that even though the world is scary, we can all be brave superheroes at heart.

AustinBioPhoto_V2Austin Harris
The Crusher (Pencil and Digital)

The Crusher is an adventurous comic book about a superhero, called The Crusher, who uses his superpowers to fight outlandish criminals and protect civilians. This comic is a fusion of pencilings and digital images and black and white in a traditional superhero comic form of storytelling.


Riko Isobe
From Me to You (Watercolor)

I wanted to express dilemma and trouble between young people, and their cleanness and freshness peculiar to them. I also wanted to draw them trying to solve it with force.

Tiberius Louchart
Love the Devil (Pen)

TiLouchartBioPhotoA lot of research went into making it, based off of Paradise Lost and more in-depth research from other sources including Elaine Pagel’s The Origin of Satan. Satan has from the very beginning been considered an angel. Early Hebrew writers referred to him as an angel of obstacle, the accuser in Job is named a Satan an adversary, accuser, or slanderer who puts struggles in Job’s way to prove that he is righteous.



BriBrianna Mercier
Little Red and the Wolf (Pencil, Ink, Coffee Stains, and Adobe Photoshop Elements 9)

Someone once told me that it’s impossible to have an unreliable narrator in a comic. So I decided to make one.



JasonPhotoJason Oberg
Pagliacci (Photography, Digital)

Based on the old comics joke about the sad clown made popular by Alan Moore, Pagliacci takes a look at the depressive state that is rampant amongst comedians. After many revisions and medium changes I decided to use photography in order to illustrate the comic. Photography gives great control in terms of what angles you want to use, in addition to detail … not to be forgotten, photography is extremely useful for people whose drawings look like that of a child’s.

ElizaElizabeth “Eliza” Roemisch
Raisins (Watercolor, Ink Pen, and Digital)

This comic is a story about love of yourself and a dislike of raisins and age. It took blood, sweat and tears, and the majority of my energy went into the watercolor portion of it. I focused on the characters — they are based on real people and I wanted them to come alive.

BrycePhotoBryce Woodell
Death (Digital)

Follows a death deity as he struggles with his job and with finding his meaning in life. My character was inspired by one of my favorite bands, Neck Deep, and my story was inspired by philosophical debates I had this year.

Student Comics

Macaroni Pony by Yasmine Abdallat, Spring 2015
The Adventures of Spaceboy and Schmoop Boop
by Nazia Athar, Spring 2015
Starlight by Ashley Cruz, Spring 2015
The Mighty Win by Francesca Dominguez, Spring 2015
The Crusher by Austin Harris, Spring 2015
From Me to You by Riko Isobe, Spring 2015
Love the Devil by Ti Louchart, Spring 2015
Lost and Found by Josie McDaniel, Spring 2015
Little Red and The Wolf by Bri Mercier, Spring 2015
Pagliacci by Jason Oberg, Spring 2015
Death by Bryce Woodell, Spring 2015
Raisins by Eliza Roemisch, Spring 2015

Student Exercises

The exercise “The Wrong Planet” in Drawing Words & Writing Pictures (Abel & Madden, 2008) challenges student teams to draw independent scenes about an astronaut going to the wrong planet and then put them all together and create a coherent comic strip. These are Thursday’s results after students corrected for narrative coherency without trying to strip down to the bare minimum number of panels.

comicpinkdark^ This team’s comic has the astronaut arrive on the planet, strip out of his suit, get drunk on the way home, and land on “Planet of the Grapes” instead of Earth. Hmm, maybe the team was inspired by Tuesday’s lecture about Underground comix defying the Comics Code Authority? Points for the awesome close-up of the startled eye.

comicgreendark^ In this team’s strip, the astronaut lands, leaves, and falls asleep at the con, allowing the spaceship to enter a wormhole and land him on another planet. We all liked the countdown panel; I think everyone copied it on the second go-round!

comicyellowdark^ In this team’s strip, the astronaut goes the the planet, leaves, comes back only to be told by an irate scientist that he’d traveled to the wrong planet in the first place — head-slap. This team’s revisions included adding more facial close-ups to make the strip character-driven rather than action-driven.

I love the fact that everybody’s rocket ship looks the same, despite about eight different students drawing it for various panels. It is clearly the archetypical rocket ship!

The exercise nicely moved the class toward next week’s Tuesday lecture on storytelling structure. Professor Terry and I really like this textbook and love seeing our students’ work!

Let the Enrollments Begin!

Terry and I are delighted to watch students adding the course as the enrollment period opens; I think this course is going to be a lot of fun! Remember, you don’t have to be an artist to enroll; you will have to create a comic book (well, a complete linear graphic narrative, which can be shorter than the typical comic book), but you can do that with stick figures, with photos run through comic-book filters, or in a number of other ways that don’t require an ability to draw or paint. :-)

Will This Count for CORE 21?

Professor Terry and I have submitted this course to the Educational Policies and Planning Committee in the hope of having it fulfill a Visual & Performing Arts Participatory requirement. We’ll post here when and if it gets accepted; our hope is that EPPC will be able to reach a decision on it before spring enrollment, but at this point we can’t guarantee it.

So the answer is — not yet, but we hope it will, eventually!


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Week 1: Introduction
Thursday, Jan. 22
Academic Reading:

  • None

Assignments Due:

  • Watch the TED talk, “A Darwinian Theory of Beauty” by Denis Dutton (15:33 minutes)
  • Create a BitStrip account and create your avatar.

Week 2: Early Sequential Art
Jan. 27 & 29
Academic Reading:

  • Chapter One in Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud 
  • “A Thousand Years of Manga” in Manga! Manga!: The World of Japanese Comics by Frederik L. Schodt 
  • Chapter One in Drawing WordsBuilding Blocks, APPENDIX B

Graphic Novels & Comics:

  • Mangaman, by Barry Lyga & Colleen Doran
  • Akira, Antique Bakery, DragonBall, Initial D, or One Piece

Thursday Art Lab: The Expressive Line, Sketchbooks and pencils, working with apps, EMOJI
Assignments Due:

  • Tuesday: Critique Bitstrips created last week

Week 3: The Rise of the Comic Book
Feb. 3 & 5
Academic Reading:

  • Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Chapter 2, Every Picture Tells a Story
  • The Superhero Reader: “Comics Predecessors” 

Graphic Novels & Comics:

  • (Optional) Download a digital copy of the original 1939 Action Comics #1, featuring Superman, and/or the original 1940 Batman #1, for $0.99 each (see Blackboard for links)
  • Tintin in Tibet by Hergé

Thursday Art Lab: Drawing Time (page 11)
Assignments Due:

  • Tuesday: Critique Crit Drawing in Action, Page 12
  • Thursday: Portfolio review.

Week 4: The Evolution of the Comic Book
Feb. 10 & 12
Academic Reading:

  • Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Chapter 3: The Strip Club (Storytelling)

Optional Reading:

  • From Krakow to Krypton: Jews and Comic Books: Comics History Timeline 

Graphic Novels & Comics:

  • Epileptic by David B. (originally L’Ascension du haut mal)
  • The Incal by Moebius & Jodorowsky.
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum by Grant Morrison & Dave McKean or The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch by Neil Gaiman & Dave McKean
  • The Bulletproof Coffin Disinterred, Crack Dog, Henry & Glenn Forever & Ever, Lou Number 15, Teen Creeps

Thursday Art Lab: The Wrong Planet (Page 31), Thumbnails
Assignments Due:

  • Tuesday: Critique “Gag Reflex”
  • Thursday: Quiz 1 (beginning of class)

Week 5: Comic Book Storytelling
Feb. 17 & 19
Academic Reading:

  • Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Chapter 4: Bridging the Gap (Storytelling)

Graphic Novels & Comics:

  • The Eyes of the Cat by Moebius & Jodorowsky.

Thursday Art Lab: Moving the Story Along, Closure Comics
Assignments Due:

  • Tuesday: Critique “Strip It Down”
  • Thursday: Portfolio review.


Week 6: Superheroes
Feb. 24 & 26
Academic Reading:

  • Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Chapter 5: Penciling & Chapter 8: Inking
  • The Superhero Reader: “Masked Heroes” 
  • The Superhero Reader: “Death-Defying Heroes” 

Optional Reading:

  • The Anatomy of Criticism by Northrup Frye: First section, “Fictional Modes: Introduction.” Pay attention to the five types of hero that Frye describes. Which comic-book heroes fall into which of these five typologies? If you plan to write a hero-based comic for class, which type of hero is your protagonist?

Graphic Novels & Comics:

  • Watchmen by Alan Moore and/or The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller
  • Kingdom Come by Mark Ward & Alex Ross
  • Any superhero comics; go to a comic book shop and buy some, or purchase a few digital comics. Try to go mainstream; don’t look for the artsy stuff!

Thursday Art Lab: Figuring Out the Figure
Assignments Due:

  • Tuesday: Critique “Closure Comics”

Week 7: Beyond Superheroes
March 3 & 5
Academic Reading:

  • Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Chapter 6: Getting on the Same Page

Graphic Novels & Comics:

  • Palestine by Joe Sacco — Read “Brother for a Day” (pp. 72-76) and anything else in the book that catches your attention.
  • Any or all of Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi.
  • Any or all of Blacksad by Juan Díaz Canales & Juanjo Guarnido
  • Any or all of Daytripper by Fábio Moon & Gabriel Bá
  • The Fantastic Voyage of Lady Rozenbilt, by Pierre Gabus & Romuald Reutimann
  • Corto Maltese: The Ballad of the Salt Sea and/or Under the Sign of Capricorn by Hugo Pratt

Thursday Art Lab: Layout Your Live Area
Assignments Due:

  • Tuesday: Small-group critiques of storylines and thumbnails, Figures
  • Thursday: Quiz 2 (beginning of class) & portfolio review, incorporate critique comments into your scripts and thumbnails

Week 8: Comic Book Storytelling II
March 10 & 12
Academic Reading:

  • Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Chapter 9: Structuring the Story (Storytelling)

Graphic Novels & Comics:
Optional Readings:
Assignments Due:

  • Tuesday: Critique Thumbnails of stories
  • Thursday: Analyze This, TV Writer (pages 132-135)

Week 9: Moral Panic
March 17 & 19
Academic Reading:

  • Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Chapter 10: Getting into Character (Storytelling)
  • Seduction of the Innocent by Frederic Wertham: Chapter 6: Design for Delinquency & Chapter 7: I Want to be a Sex Maniac
  • Adult Manga: Culture and Power in Contemporary Japanese Society: Chapter 4: Amateur Manga Subculture and the Otaku Panic

Graphic Novels & Comics:

  • Batman: The Killing Joke, by Alan Moore & Brian Bolland

Thursday Art Lab: Page layouts, Strip Design app, Thumbnail 6-page story arc

Assignments Due:

  • Tuesday: Critique 6-page story arcs
  • Thursday: Portfolio review

Week 10: Propaganda and Activism
March 24 & 26
Academic Reading:

  • Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Chapter 11: Setting the Stage (Storytelling)

Graphic Novels & Comics:

  • Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology — Read “Section One: War and Remembrance” (pp. 24-36).
  • Black Hole by Charles Burns — “Racing Towards Something” (about the third chapter in this number-free book).
  • V for Vendetta by Alan Moore
  • Maus I by Art Spiegelman

Thursday Art Lab: Perspective
Assignments Due:

  • Tuesday: Critique “Character Pinups”
  • Thursday:  Quiz 3 (beginning of class)

SPRING BREAK — March 30-April 6 — Work on your final project!


Week 11 Race
April 7 & 9
Academic Reading:

  • Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Chapter 12: Constructing a World (Storytelling)
  • Superblack: American Pop Culture and Black Superheroes: Chapter 2: Birth of the Cool

Optional Readings:

  • Redrawing the Nation: National Identity in Latin/o American Comics : Chapter 13, The Bros. Hernandez: A Latin Presence in Alternative U.S. Comics
  • Comicology: Comic books as culture in India, by Ritu G. Khanduri. Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, 1(2), 171-191.

Graphic Novels & Comics:

  • Hardware or Static Shock by Dwayne McDuffie
  • The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang & Sonny Liew
  • Maggie The Mechanic by Jaime Hernandez — “Locas Starring Hopey” & “Locas” (pp. 148-157)
  • Black Panther: The Man Without Fear! by Davis Liss.
  • Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology
  • The Roach

Thursday Art Lab: Heads in Your Hands

  • Tuesday: Critique Revise and Produce (page 166)
  • Thursday: Portfolio review

Week 12: Gender
April 14 & 16
Academic Reading:

  • Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Chapter 13: Black Gold
  • The ‘Broke Back Test’: A quantitative and qualitative analysis of portrayals of women in mainstream superhero comics, 1993-2013, by Carolyn Cocca, Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, 5(4), 411-428.

Optional Reading:

  • The Superhero Reader: “The Great Women Superheroes”

Graphic Novels & Comics:

  • Womanthology: Heroic — Read any or all of these female-authored, female-illustrated stories about girls and women in heroic contexts.
  • Embroideries by Marjane Satrapi
  • The Tale of One Bad Rat by Bryan Talbot
  • Palestine by Joe Sacco — “Hijab” (pp. 137-140)
  • Girl Genius by Phil & Kaja Foglio — Any or all.
  • Divas, Dames & Daredevils  Read a few of these comic strip reprints

Thursday Art Lab: World building with Perspective
Assignments Due:

  • Tuesday: Show and tell some of your finished panels for feedback

Week 13: Sexual Orientation & Sex
April 21 & 23
Academic Reading:

  • Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Chapter 7: Lettering & Chapter 8: Inking
  • The Superhero Reader: “Batman, Deviance, and Camp”

Optional Reading:

  • “’Nice cape, super faggot!’: Male adolescent identity crises in young adult graphic novels, by Mark Malaby & Melissa Esh, Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, 3(1), 39-53.

Graphic Novels & Comics:

  • Blue Pills: A Positive Love Story by Frederik Peeters — Segment (pp. 100-149).
  • Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel — Chapter 4: In The Shadow of a Young Girl’s Flower (pp. 89-120).
  •  The Killer Condom and/or Down to the Bone by Ralf König. Warning: Sexually explicit and violent.
  •  Artifice by Alex Woolfson & Winona Nelson.

Thursday Art Lab: Working like mad on 6-page comic. Integrating perspective backgrounds.
Assignments Due:

  • Tuesday: Critique Page 209
  • Thursday: Quiz 4 (beginning of class) & portfolio review


Week 14: Fan Culture
April 28 & 30
Academic Reading:

  • Drawing Words and Writing Pictures: Chapter 14: Comics in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, & Chapter 15: The 24-Hour Comic
  • Unpopular Culture: Transforming the European Comic Book in the 1900s: Chapter 4, “From Global to Local and Back Again”

Thursday Art Lab: Work Day-Posting to the Web

Week 15: Assimilation of Movies & TV
May 5 & 7
Academic Reading:

  • Work!

Optional Readings:

  • “Captain America in the news: Changing mediascapes and the appropriation of a superhero” by Jason Dittmer, Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, 3(2), 143-157.

Graphic Novels & Comics:

  • None, but you might want to watch a comic- or manga-inspired TV show or film this week, just to get into the mood!

Assignments Due:

  • Thursday: Portfolio Due — be sure to photocopy anything you’ll need to complete your final project for turn-in on Finals Day
  • Thursday: Students assigned to this day will provide a 10-minute presentation of their final project (teams must give 15-minute presentations).


Week 16: Final
THURSDAY, MAY 14, 10:30 am – 12:30 pm

  • Quiz 5 (The Final Exam)
  • Final Project Due — Posted into ComicComm
  • Finish 10-minute final-project presentations

Coming Spring 2015

California Lutheran University

ART/COMM 482: ComicComm: Globalization, Zeitgeist and the Art of Visual Communication

Dr. Dru “Jackdaw” Pagliassotti, Your Humble Writer
Professor Terry “Peacock” Spehar-Fahey, Your Not-So-Humble Artist