Comics Crash Course
Anyone Can Draw
You have probably been drawing for as long as you can remember. And why not? Forms of visual expression like drawing and painting are the most basic and universal language we have. But many people think they aren't "good" at drawing or will never become great artists. Nonsense! Today you will learn a bit about the history of comics and how to take advantage of the visual vocabulary already stored in your mind. With Jarrett's help, you'll gain some new tools and techniques so that you can draw anything and everything you can think of! Your art will never be the same.
what you’ll need
- A computer, tablet, or mobile phone and access to the internet
- Pens, crayons, markers, or colored pencils
- Plenty of blank paper (can be blank, lined, or graph paper)
- A printer (optional)
Ask About Today
Can you think of any jobs (besides illustrator or cartoonist) in which being able to draw would be a useful skill to have?
If you could spend a day as an artist working on any comic strip, which one would it be and why?
Skip the Ads
Unfortunately, online videos often start with short advertisements. Remind your campers to click the "Skip" button as soon as they can to move ahead to the video.
A Brief History of Comic Books
Where did comics come from, anyway? Find out where your favorite superheroes got their start and learn about the major eras of comic book art in this short video.
Content Warning: This video includes images that may be disturbing to younger or more sensitive campers.
Free Comic Books?!
Did you know there is such a thing as free Comic Book Day? KA-BOOM! We just missed it back in May, but you’ll be prepared next year. In celebration of it, check out how this NYC comic store gives free shopping credit to kids who create their own comics. We hope this is a trend that takes off.
Remember: Online videos often start with advertisements. (Annoying, we agree!) Click the "Skip" button as soon as you can to move ahead to the video.
Start Drawing with Jarrett
Do you think you can draw? Whether you are a natural artist or a beginner, you can improve quickly with the right techniques. Today, Jarrett will show you how to draw with confidence.
In the first of today's videos, you will use basic shapes to break down complicated drawings into simpler steps, and will also learn how to be an efficient and effective reviser.
Feel free to draw along with the videos, or pause them to practice as you go!
Planning Your Drawing
In today's second video with Jarrett, you'll learn two useful "pre-drawing" techniques: "blocking" and "sketching." These will help you plan or map out your drawings.
For younger explorers
Becoming a Comic Book Artist
Owen wants to be a comic book artist someday. Watch as he explains how he’d bring his world to life!
"How to Draw" Practice
Use these "How to Draw" sheets to learn how to draw some characters and figures. You can print out a few, or just look at them online while you sketch.
REMEMBER: There is no "right" or "wrong" way to draw anything. Do you think any of the objects and/or characters look better if you draw them a little bit differently? Think of something else that you want to draw.
Can you make your own "How to Draw" sheet? If you do, share it with a family member or friend and see what they think of it!
And to remind yourself why it matters so much, check out this essay by author-illustrator Jarod Roselló.
Comics by Mika Song
For younger explorers
Just Pretend with Benny and Penny
This may be your very first comic book read, so enlarge your screen so that you can see each word in the speech balloons and follow along with Benny and Penny.
The Scribble Game
Play the Scribble Game! You can play on your own or find others to play with. It's easy. Just click the button to view the instructions. Make sure to keep your creations so you can look back on them once you're done playing. Are you particularly excited about one of your creations? Can you use any of the techniques you learned earlier to make a new drawing featuring that completed scribble?
Have you ever worked out like a Jedi from Star Wars? Now you can. Grab a safe object to use as a light saber and follow along with these fun, simple exercises.
Wonder Woman Workout
Mastered the art of the Jedi, young Padawan? See if you can keep up with Wonder Woman.
more to explore
Seriously, ANYONE Can Draw
Dive into the world of drawing by checking out this wonderfully inspiring TEDx talk from Graham Shaw, "Why people believe they can’t draw -- and how to prove they can."
Cucumber Quest Comics
Want to read some more comics? Visit the archive of the beautifully illustrated "Cucumber Quest" comics.
Find Some Funnies
Visit GoComics.com to check out even more comics for kids, many updated daily.