Katie McMahon




Creating Journal Comics: Drawing Your Life

Class Title and Description

"Creating Journal Comics: Drawing Your Life"

Drawing pictures to record human events is an ancient custom, going as far back as the cave paintings in Lascaux, France. This custom has continued throughout history to the modern day with popular graphic novels such as "Persepolis" by Marjane Satrapi.

In this class, you will learn the basics of making comics about you - turning the events of your day into a comic. We will talk about format, drawing style, facial expressions, backgrounds, and more. A journal comic can be private or public, but the most important thing is that it is yours.

Drawing the events of your day-to-day life may seem boring or mundane, but you may look at it differently when you sit down to draw. Suddenly, the coffee you spilled on your lap seems a bit more funny. Our perceptions and emotions connected to past events can change the more we ruminate on them. In my own experience, I've found a greater appreciation for the life I have when I take the time to draw it out. 

Project Title and Description

I'm currently working on my script for my videos so I can begin filming later today - I might be going too in-depth, but having a script really helps me deliver information in a clear, concise manner. I'm terrible at ad-libbing! Here's a sample of my script thus far:


[Talking Head]

Hello there, and welcome to the first lesson of my Journal Comics class!

[Title Card]

Quick doodle of me on the floor, scribbling in a notebook

Turning the Events of the Day into a Comic”

[Talking Head]

I’ll admit I don’t always have the best memory. When I’m struck with an idea for a story or a comic, I have to write it down or draw it out right away, or else I’ll forget it entirely. The same goes for journal comics. I always keep a tiny sketchbook on me wherever I go so that I can write down funny events and interesting thoughts to draw later.

(show the tiny sketchbook to the camera)

For this lesson’s mini-assignment, I want you to write a list of three to five ideas you have for a comic based on the events of your daily life in the past week, and post it in the Projects Gallery. If you know which one you want to use for your final project, be sure to point it out when posting and explain why you picked that particular one. Thanks for watching, and I look forward to seeing what you come up with!

I'm really enjoying writing everything out and planning the format of each class video. My plan for today is to get the scripts for each video written, to film each "talking head" sequence, and to begin drawing some of the images I'll be using in the "screencast" sequences. I'll be drawing, editing, and filming "physical demo" sequences all the rest of this week. Wish me luck!

Link to the Video Lesson Outline

Here's the first draft of my class outline, for any who are curious!

Here's the TL;DR version:

  1. Intro: Why a journal comic?
  2. Script: Turn the events of the day into a comic
  3. Format: 4-panel? Half page? Full page?
  4. Drawing 1: What do you look like?
  5. Drawing 2: Level of detail
  6. Drawing 3: Make the comic
  7. Bells and whistles: Inking, coloring, etc.
  8. Extra: Making an 8-page foldy comic

My Introduction Video

I've been working hard! Here's a link to my intro video that I uploaded onto YouTube:

Thanks for watching!

The Link to My Final Published Class

It's done! It's finally done! Oh, I'm so happy! The lighting is distracting, the physical demos need significant work, and I'm not 100% pleased with the sound quality, but that's what first tries are for, right? At any rate, I'm really proud of myself and of what I've accomplished here. Thank you for the opportunity, and thanks for watching!


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