In this 4-part seminar, you’ll learn the elements of cartooning while crafting a visual narrative born from family history and lore.
Each of us has a unique story or two to tell. Some of these stories have been passed down from limb to limb of our family trees, while others emerge from lived experience; others are born from a blend of history and imagination. In this four-week course with cartoonist and educator Zawadi Noël, you’ll learn how to illustrate these narratives in a series of panels—from family history to personal journeys, combined with a bit of mythology—as a means of inviting others deeper into our own worlds. We’ll explore a range of drawing techniques, visual problem solving, and practice composing images from session to session. At the end of this course, you’ll have a strong understanding of the elements of visual storytelling, as well as a complete illustrated narrative of your own to share.
Storytellers of all experience levels are welcome; no prior background in cartooning is required to take this course.
Syllabus at a Glance
This course includes four total sessions, each lasting two hours on four consecutive Thursdays beginning July 28.
Session 1 (Thursday, 7/28, 7:00–9:00 pm ET)| Exploring Character
Session 2 (Thursday, 8/4, 7:00–9:00 pm ET)| Exploring Story
Session 3 (Thursday, 8/11, 7:00–9:00 pm ET)| Exploring Setting
Session 4 (Thursday, 8/18, 7:00–9:00 pm ET)| Developing, drafting, and presenting pages
Students will be assigned short, weekly cartooning assignments exploring character, setting, and storytelling. The comic panels you create from these assignments will be incorporated into a larger comic you'll create by the end of the course.
In addition to full-price tickets, a limited number of no-pay spots are available for this course. Please note that these tickets are reserved for those who would not otherwise be able to take this course and who expect to attend all sessions. No-pay spots are distributed via a randomized drawing two weeks before each course begins. For more information and to apply for a no-pay spot, please click here. To learn more about our pricing model and randomized selection process for no-pay spots, please visit our FAQ page.
Community Guidelines for Students
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Atlas Obscura Online Courses
Atlas Obscura Courses offer opportunities for participants to emerge with new skills, knowledge, connections, and perspectives through multi-session classes designed and taught by expert instructors. To learn more about our current course offerings, please visit www.atlasobscura.com/online-courses. For answers to commonly asked questions, check out our FAQ page here.
Founded in 2009, Atlas Obscura created the definitive community-driven guide to incredible places across the planet and is now an award-winning company that shares the world’s hidden wonders in person and online.
Once registered, you’ll receive a confirmation email from Eventbrite that will provide access to each class meeting. Please save the confirmation email as you’ll use it to access all sessions of your course via Zoom.
Zawadi Noël is a cartoonist, illustrator, and educator with 18 years of experience in the field. Since receiving a degree in cartooning from The School of Visual Arts, he has taught art to all age groups, and has created artwork for clients such as Marvel and Disney. Zawadi’s main focus is personal visual narrative. Through his company, MyHeroComics, Zawadi has illustrated comics for individuals to honor and celebrate loved ones.
This is an interactive, small-group seminar that meets over Zoom. Students may be encouraged to participate in discussions, work on assignments outside of class, and workshop projects with their instructor or classmates. Due to the interactive nature of this course, we strongly recommend students attend as many live sessions as possible. Within 72 hours after each session meets, students will receive access to a recording of the live session, which they can watch for up to two weeks after the course concludes.
Instructors may use Google Classroom to communicate with students outside of class. While students aren’t required to use Google Classroom, instructors may use this platform to post resources, discussion questions, or assignments. This platform also offers a space for students to connect with one another about course material between sessions.
We provide closed captioning for all of our courses and can share transcripts upon request. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions, requests, or accessibility needs.
There are 25 spots available on this experience.
This course is geared toward adults (18+), but can accommodate younger students.