Youth in Arts Mentor Artist Cathy Bowman is an award-winning cartoonist and writer who draws for print and online publications. She is the author and illustrator of the mini-comic, “The Old Cat and the Sea.” She reports below on her work at Harding Elementary School in El Cerrito.
Teens interested in learning to create their own original comics with Cathy this October should click HERE to check out our C Street Project “Walkable Comics” workshop this October!
This past Spring, Harding Elementary School students learned to write and illustrate their own comics. Comics are part of a rich tradition of storytelling, and Harding’s 4th, 5th and 6th grade students were excited to learn about this time honored art form.
Some students wrote short mysteries, starring protagonists that ranged from a talking donut to a n’er-do-well pencil. Others chose familiar storylines–friends on a basketball court, at a park or at school. Some drew their families. One 4th grade girl wrote about the adventures of leukocytes in the human body. Along the way they learned about facial expressions, body positions and how to create drama and action from panel to panel.
One of the biggest challenges was deciding which parts of a story to tell visually and which parts to tell with words. Students learned about speech bubbles, thought bubbles, action words and more. It was exciting to see students learn to draw 3-D objects like couches and chairs while creating images of home or school.
At the end of the session, students learned about lettering and cover art. Using a few colors, they created eye-catching covers.