The Graphic Novel and Comic Workshop, offered Spring ’15 and taught by Russ Franklin, was composed of 16 majors in the Studio Art and Creative Writing programs at FSU with a focus on collaboration. Students studied the history of the graphic novel, including American, European and Japanese (manga) influences and created a single, stand-alone work of graphic narrative for their final portfolio. Their research included superhero narratives and focused on the social narratives and histories.
The students were required to make project pitches from which pairing of the first creative teams was based—one writer with one artist. Even though each creative team was responsible for their project, every student became very familiar with everyone’s work-in-process; there was much free-floating and collaboration and support between groups.
Throughout the semester, for discussion, students were assigned published graphic novels, books about comics, and students chose current “floppy” edition of a comics they wanted the class to read. Each workshop started with this mad shuffle of students handing back comics borrowed and studied.
[quote]Before the semester started, I sent an email to my Graphic Novel and Comic Workshop reminding them that the emphasis was going to be on the cross-pollination of ideas and techniques between their two creative majors—writers and artists. The email got no response so I sent another message requesting that anyone “hearing” me please respond with the secret phrase “squeaky dog.” The squeaky-dog emails began pouring in and “squeaky dog” became the class call-and-response term for “Are you okay?” and “Yes, everything is okay,” “I understand,” “I got it,” “I’m happy.”[/quote]
Besides that first silent email, the class was never quiet and was always wonderful. Each project was a four-weeks in duration, and the creative teams were rotated for each project, the results of which are on the Squeaky Dog Comic website.
Squeaky Dog Comics can be found at http://squeakydogcomics.wix.com/squeakydogcomics#!the-artists/cb0w