Module Information

Module Identifier
WR32320
Module Title
Kapow! Reading and Writing Graphic Narratives
Academic Year
2018/2019
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 1
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery

 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Assignment 1: 1 x 2,500 Portfolio  Divided into the following: (1500 words) - 10 pages of a comic/graphic narrative script formatted in accordance with industry standards and drawing on forms and subjects of commercial comics as covered in the first half of the course. (35%); and (1000 words) - Learning journal with bibliography (not included in word count) - (15%)  50%
Semester Assessment Assignment 2: 1 x 2,500 Portfolio  Divided into the following: (1500 words) - 10 pages of a comic/graphic narrative script formatted in accordance with industry standards and drawing on forms and subjects of commercial comics as covered in the second half of the course. (35%); and (1000 words) - Learning journal with bibliography (not included in word count) - (15%)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit Assignment 1  Resubmit missed of failed portfolio.  50%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmit Assignment 2  Resubmit missed of failed portfolio.  50%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Demonstrate, via the scripting for a variety of graphic forms, a detailed working knowledge of the thematic and structural characteristics of graphic narratives

2. Demonstrate, in both creative and evaluative writing, an increased command of the specific techniques associated with graphic narrative scriptwriting;

3. Demonstrate, in critical prose, a reflective awareness of their own composition processes as well as the literary history/context of the graphic narrative form;

4. Demonstrate, by the revision of work previously discussed in workshops, an ability to improve their writing in response to criticism.

5. Display the professional attitude required of a working comics scriptwriter/graphic novelist

Aims

This module will provide students with a knowledge of graphic narratives as a literary form and offer them the time, space and direction to develop original stories and scripts via their own creative practice. The aim is to ensure that students leave with an understanding of a popular form and a portfolio of script work to aid in their pursuit of a career within the comics profession.

Brief description

This course explores graphic narratives (comic books, graphic novels, newspaper strips, web-comics, etc.) as a literary form with a lively history and a well-established critical framework as well as a form of professional creative practice. Students will study the development of the field though the reading and discussion of key texts (both creative and critical). They will also develop their own creative work, giving and receiving critical feedback with their peers and, in the process, enhancing their understanding of the technical processes and requirements of writing scripts for graphic narratives. The first hour of each class will involve the workshopping of creative work, the second a seminar style discussion.

The essential skills of both literary criticism and imaginative writing will be emphasized at all times, and the assignments will test not only familiarity with relevant graphic narrative subgenres but also the wider ability to produce well-constructed stories.

Content

Session 1.
Introduction: A History of the Form – Contextualizing graphic narratives as we know them today against their precursors and their development over the twentieth century.

Session 2.
The Speech Balloon: Writing Words for Pictures – Examining the basics of scripting a successful single panel, judging dialogue, and conveying character (in-class exercises).

Session 3.
Superheroes: The Golden, Silver, and Dark Ages – Considering the mutations of the comic book’s most recognizable subgenre from its hopeful origins to its grim “mature” form.

Session 4.
Scripting the Image Sequence: The Role of the Writer – In-class discussion and exercises aimed at developing student narrative skills across a series of scripted panels.

Session 5.
Author Case Study: Grant Morrison – Detailed examination and discussion of work by a prominent British comic book author creatively and critically engaged with graphic narrative forms.

Session 6.
The Graphic Novel: Structure and Significance – The entrance of long-form graphic narratives into the mainstream has been eased by borrowing the term “novel” from prose fiction, but what else have these texts borrowed? And what might they offer contemporary literature in return?

Session 7.
Graphic Narratives as Memoir: From Maus to Persepolis – Considering (both critically and creatively) the manner by which graphic narrative forms lend themselves to highly personal stories.

Session 8.
Author Case Study: Alison Bechdel – Detailed examination and discussion of work by a prominent American cartoonist creatively and critically engaged with graphic narrative forms.

Session 9.
The Contemporary Comic Book Industry: Creators, Companies, and Critics – What is the state of the graphic narrative marketplace today and in what way has increased lit-critical interest legitimized the form?

Session 10.
http://webcomics/anybody/can/do.it – A variety of prominent webcomics will be examined, their scripting and reception considered, and students will workshop ideas for their own.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number N/A
Communication Written communication skills are key to the work students will do on this module. Moreover, interaction in group discussion will be essential to the seminars/workshops.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be expected to improve their work in response to criticism from the tutor and other students, as well as to develop their own unique creative approaches.
Information Technology Students will be required to make full use of library facilities and master online research.
Personal Development and Career planning This will be discussed during the course and is implicitly embedded in all assessed work.
Problem solving Problems of writing technique, structure, and genre will arise and be dealt with during workshops and in assessments. The effectiveness by which the author has solved problems is evident in the quality of the finished work.
Research skills Both creative assessments and the critical commentary will reflect the student’s ability to read widely and to engage with graphic narratives with a critical eye. They will have to apply this knowledge to make informed decisions about their own writing.
Subject Specific Skills Students will learn industry specific scriptwriting forms and history, as well as gain a hands on understanding of creative techniques such as structure, dialogue, and character.
Team work Students will have the opportunity to work in teams for some workshops.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 6