In this unit, you will create a narrative story that draws from your personal experience. The process will be broken down into manageable steps including a few lessons where we will look at improving basic cartooning skills.


Inevitably a student will say, "I can't draw." To that I reply, "Can you draw a circle? Then make me care about that circle."


The story is not in the art, but the point, the theme, the growth of a character, and the connection you are making between author and reader. What is it you are saying about the human condition and how are you contributing to that narrative? Are you giving the reader a series of events or a better understanding of the fragility of being human? Make me care.


For this assignment, think of a relationship--good or bad. In a short cartoon, create a comic that describes the fundamental elements. Include a sequence that depicts a moment or event that helped define the relationship. Keep the material school appropriate. Also, I am legally bound to report illegal activities and things like abuse.


Here are handouts to help you out:

The Autobiographical Scope, Sequence, and Rubric

Muphy's Textbook on Writing Autobiographical Comics

Dani Jones' Tips for Drawing Facial Expressions

Scott McCloud Emotions (From Making Comics)

Murphy's Sixteen Comic-Book Panels

Twelve Model Sheets

Here is a link to a cool panel-generating website


And a few examples:

Harvey Pekar "Through the Generations"

Russ Heath on Roy Lichtenstein

Bill Watterson on Creating a Life that Reflects your Values

Some Concrete Panels by Paul Chadwick (not autobiographical)