Interested in knowing more about comics, putting them to use in your classroom, and trying your hand at making them? I set up this site initially for the class on comics for educators that I taught at Teachers College and have since been growing to serve as a database of comics-education resources. Explore the right sidebar menu for resources and feel free to drop me a line with suggestions. Thanks – Nick
Below are syllabi and details from my classes – many of them with a complete breakdown of activities we did and filled with examples of student work. I update as I can. Please feel free to borrow from and share. I’ve got two chapters on my teaching in the book With Great Power Comes Great Pedagogy – the overview of all I do in classes is available on their free excerpt here. It mostly draws on all the stuff below, but in a more narrative and easily accessible form.
ACTIVITIES from Classes:
Visual Analysis/Annotation Project – a staple of my intro Comics courses, lots of student examples along with explanation of the activity (UPDATED 8/19)
Storyline Project – a small one, but easy to adapt and do on your own!
Autobiographical Influences Comic – Make a short autobiographical comic by using three instances where you directly reference the style from 3 different artists that you admire or were influenced by as a way to tell your narrative (specifics & examples at the link)
Midterm for CMX325 – 1 part mini essay/letter, 1 part visual analysis, 1 part make a 1page comic using comics terms. A lot of fun! (for a midterm). PDF instructions here!
SPRING 2023 SFSU Syllabi!
FALL 2022 SFSU Syllabi! (in-person, first time in over two years)
CMX325 Comics & Culture F22 (PDF). Complete breakdown of past version of class for F2018.
CMX304 Making Comics 1 F22 (PDF). See ALL of what we did S2021 here! (Fall 2018 below is also a COMPLETE account of what we did then.)
LS426 Thought & Image F22 (Visual Communication course) PDF. You can find the complete breakdown of a past version of the class below for 2016.
SPRING 2022 SFSU Syllabi (online)
CMX325 Comics & Culture SPR22 (PDF). Complete breakdown of past version of class for F2018.
CMX604 Advanced Making Comics SPR22 (PDF). I’ve never compiled all the activities for this one, maybe this year…
LS426 Thought & Image SPR22 (PDF). You can find the complete breakdown of a past version of the class below for 2016.
SPRING 2021 SFSU Syllabi (online)
HUM706 Image & Culture: Comics Spr2021 (PDF) (Masters general topics seminar, my first time teaching)
CMX304 Making Comics Spr2021 (PDF). See ALL of what we did here! (Fall 2018 below is also a COMPLETE account of what we did then.)
LS426 Thought & Image Spr2021(PDF). PDF here, complete breakdown of past classes below for 2016.
FALL 2020 SFSU Syllabi
CMX325 Comics & Culture F20 (PDF) This is syllabus only (Download PDF), see Fall 2018 below for COMPLETE account of all we did.
CMX304 Making Comics F20 (PDF) This is syllabus only (Download PDF), see Fall 2018 below for COMPLETE account of all we did.
LS426 Thought & Image F20 (PDF) (Visual Communication) PDF here PDF here, breakdown of past classes below
SPRING 2020 SFSU Syllabi
Advanced Readings in Comics (a theory-readings-making course – brand new) PDF Here
Advanced Making Comics PDF here
LS426 Thought & Image (Visual Communication) PDF here, breakdown of past classes below
FALL 2019 SFSU Comics and Culture Syllabus F19 (PDF) This is syllabus only, see Fall 2018 below for COMPLETE account of all we did.
Fall 2018 SFSU
Comics & Culture Now COMPLETE – includes visual syllabus, comprehensive breakdown of what we did in each class session, all activities and assignments, and tons of examples of student work for each assignment (UPDATED 8/19)
Making Comics – Now COMPLETE – includes visual syllabus, breakdown of what we did by week, all activities, and tons of examples of student work from assignments! (UPDATED 8/19)
Spring 2018 SFSU
Sousanis LS426 Spr18 Syllabus
Advanced Making Comics Syllabus 2018
(Note: For these Spring 2018 courses – I’ve only put the syllabi and visual syllabi (above) – no breakdown of all that we did in class as yet… (though LS426 is more or less the same as the F2016 version below).)
Fall 2016 – SFSU
Visual Communication (LS426): Here you can find my syllabus, readings, an outline of what we did weekly, and examples of student activities and projects from the whole term. This is complete – check it out!
Bonus – for my Spring 2018 version of the course, I documented our take on the Dear Data project – and those results are here: Dear Data responses.
Fall 2015 – University of Calgary: Comics as a Way of Thinking – focusing on the communication aspects of comics with an underlying emphasis on learning about them through making. Below, I’ve shared the description and the poster, and I’ve posted the syllabus, readings, and more here.
ENGL 517.13: Theoretical and Cultural Studies: Comics as a Way of Thinking Description: This course will explore comics as a unique and robust communication form, with an emphasis on understanding comics by making them. We will take a multifaceted approach to analyzing the medium, from uncovering comics’ historical roots and examining the various genres developed in the West and across the globe, to delving into the theoretical and formal elements, as well as considerations of comics in relation to other media such as film, poetry, and even architecture. Beyond narratives, we will look at the growing role comics are playing in the fields of journalism, education, and health/medicine. While making comics will be a significant component of the course, prior drawing experience is not required. Rather, we will expand upon what drawing means by creating spaces for students to play and explore the multiplicity of possibilities that emerge when we work in the bilingual fashion that comics facilitate. The course will serve as a springboard for students to develop ways to incorporate visual practices gleaned from comics into their own creative and critical work.
Sousanis Comics 5151 Syllabus Spring 2014 at Teachers College (PDF) Poster for past course at Teachers College
This was my original comics class, with an emphasis on comics & education, which ran four times from 2011 to 2014 before I left Teachers College. The syllabus above was from the final iteration of the class (for institutional reasons, we had to change the name and heading for it after it was taught the first two times). I also taught a previously existing course at Parsons, The New School – title Reading Graphic Novels. My version of it was a much more hands on, active making experience – not unlike the subsequent Comics as a Way of Thinking at the University of Calgary.