What a class we had today!!
Wednesday is always a long class (10-4) but we seem to be really packing it in lately. Today we did presentations in the morning about great comics writing - I talked about Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi.

I particularly love this book because the main character is not only a GIRL (gasp), but she has a very strong MOM - who does not get killed off but IS the incentive for the first adventure. This falls into the "Kick-butt princess" category that I prefer to read with my daughter. Plus there are other great characters and gorgeous artwork.

We went over our Rip-Off Graphic Novel projects too. Breaking down the story, page by page and finding the plot points was quite difficult. I was actually disappointed to learn that we aren't actually going to draw the whole comic... just a few pages.

I had started sketching out a few panels already...

And our homework had been to draw sketches for three of the characters...

And come up with a title and title treatment...

After lunch, we spent the entire afternoon playing "Fiasco". Fiasco is a role-playing game that is hard to describe except maybe... you are inside an insane movie and everything goes wrong! It was so bizarre, but very effective at teaching us about storytelling, directing a movie, making cuts, edits and, mostly, just going with the flow.

The best part was that it was SO over the top insane, we pretty much spent three hours laughing our asses off which was exactly what we ALL needed on this rainy, February day. Better than a pilates workout! (My tummy and face muscles still ache!)

Yesterday, In Production Workshop, we tackled learning the basics of Illustrator. We are mostly used to using Photoshop for image editing, but Illustrator is a vector based drawing program. The coolest thing is that any image you create can be scaled from postage stamp size to billboard size because the image is all math-based, not pixel-based. So it's great for signs and logos, especially.

To practice with the Pen Tool, we had to clean up and redesign the local Dog Poop Sign. Some of us (ahem) are new to working this way and were happy just to "clean up" the sign. Redesigning is for the pros. Hey! At least my dog has ears and a tail! Someday, when I have mastered this program, I will add a nice little pile o'poop too!

Our homework is to redesign the Choking First Aid signs required in NYC restaurants. They are so hard to read, but have inspired a gazillion knock-offs and parodies. Just Google "NYC Choking Poster" and click on "Images". You'll be amazed.

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