intro to diary comics w/ robert james russell

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No experience needed!

This class is designed for the writer who dreams of seeing their words paired with their art; for the artist who wants to see their art elevated with a memoirist’s perspective; for the amateur who’s never tried crafting a comic of their own but has always wanted to; for the art-proficient who just need an excuse to get back to it. No matter your level of experience, this comics workshop is for you.


In this 6-week workshop, we will celebrate the art of diary comics—sometimes called graphic narratives, often short, simplistic comics blending memoir with vivid emotion—and the intersection of writing and drawing, how each is truly needed to make a piece resonate and pop. In each class, we will pull from a wide array of comic examples (and other writings, too), apply what we learn to your own diary comics, and then we’ll workshop them together. As we learn and grow in this exciting medium, we’ll share weekly prompted doodles to see how we are putting it all together.

We’ll look at work by Kristen Radtke, Adrian Tomine, Alison Bechdel, Marjane Satrapi, Lee Lei, Mira Jacob, Gene Luen Yang, Ebony Flowers, Craig Thompson, and many others.


Tuesdays 7-9 PM EST

May 10 - June 14

Instructor: Robert James Russell

Robert James Russell is the author of the novellas Mesilla and Sea of Trees, and the chapbook Don't Ask Me to Spell It Out. He is a founding editor of the literary journals Midwestern Gothic and CHEAP POP. His work has appeared in print and online in The RumpusGulf CoastHobartNew South, and Passages North, among others, and he has taught writing courses and workshops around the country, including at the Iowa Writers House, New Harmony Writers Workshop, and the University of Michigan. You can find his illustrations and writing at, or on Twitter/Instagram at @robhollywood.

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