MoCCA Fall Classes Coming
MoCCA (The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art) in New York City has announced a new series of fall classes, all sponsored by its Education Department. A slew of comics legends are teaching these classes, including Howard Chaykin, Paul Levitz, Bill Plympton, Anne D. Bernstein, and Danny Fingeroth.
Here’s a look at the classes being offered. For more information, or to register, call 212-254-3511 or go to www.moccany.org..
How to Write Comics & Graphic Novels, Level 2
Instructor: Danny Fingeroth
Six sessions, Wednesdays, November 2, 9, 16, 30 and December 7 and 14
Tuition: $425/$395 for MoCCA members
Danny Fingeroth will lead a hands-on, Level 2 workshop in writing comics and graphic novels for experienced (but not necessarily published) writers. Combining lectures, assignments in class and at home, and roundtable critiquing, the class will cover writing for all kinds of comics, including autobiographical, historical, “indy,” and superheroes.
Students will be expected to have mastered the basic elements of comics scripting. The class can be used to start new works or polish existing ones. Students are encouraged to do one or more shortform projects (no longer than ten pages) for this class. For students working on longer projects, the class will be used to solidify overall storylines and then develop a shorter chapter or episode within the longer work.
Note: Students are expected to come to the first session either with (a) three “springboards” (short ideas for stories), from which we will choose one to be your project for the course or (b) a short work that needs polishing or (c) an overview of your idea for a longform project.
Danny Fingeroth was the longtime group editor of Marvel's Spider-Man line and the writer of comics including Darkhawk and Deadly Foes of Spider-Man. He has taught comics writing at NYU, The New School, and Media Bistro. Danny created and edited Write Now magazine, the only how-to publication dedicated to comics writing and writers. He is the author of The Rough Guide to Graphic Novels and co-author (with artist Mike Manley) of How to Create Comics from Script to Print. He's also written the books Superman on the Couch and Disguised as Clark Kent. His latest book, The Stan Lee Universe (from TwoMorrows), co-edited with Roy Thomas, is about the life and career of the writer who changed comics forever. Danny serves on MoCCA's board of advisors and on the board of directors of the Institute for Comics Studies.
How to Write for Animation
Instructor: Anne D. Bernstein
Six sessions, Mondays, November 7, 14, 21, 28 and December 5 and 12
Tuition: $425/$395 for MoCCA members
When it comes to cartoons, anything can happen! But even though animation is unbound by reality or gravity, successful cartoon writing is grounded in classic storytelling skills, thoughtful character development, solid structure, and clever dialogue. This class is an opportunity to explore the particular challenges and rewards of writing for animation. Screenings, lectures, in-class exercises, and enjoyable home assignments demystify the process. If you have already created animated characters or are in the process of developing your own show (anything from a single webtoon to a full-fledged series) you will be encouraged to incorporate your existing project into the course work and receive valuable feedback from the instructor, as well as your fellow students! Newbies are welcome, too. Just bring your imagination. [Note: While this course will focus on TV animation, shortform and feature-length animation will be discussed as well.]
Anne D. Bernstein is an animation writer and story editor whose credits include Daria, MTV Downtown, Private Eye Princess, Hey Monie!, Backyardigans, Tutenstein, Viva Piñata, Angelo Rules and Kikoriki. She served as head writer for MTV Animation Development for three years. Before that she was senior editor and comic book editor at Nickelodeon Magazine.
MoCCA Master Class Series
Individual Master Classes: $50/$45 for MoCCA members (pre-register for all three: $125/$110 for MoCCA members)
Master Class in Graphic Design: Design in the Service of Narrative for Comic Books
Instructor: Howard Chaykin
One session, Tuesday, November 1
In common with other forms of communication, comic books have a language, a vocabulary, and a syntax—despite the frequent misuse or nearly congenital ignorance of these tools by many professionals—both writers and artists.
As a working cartoonist and writer for 40 years, Howard Chaykin has spent much of that time analyzing and successfully codifying the techniques that make for a coherent narrative linkage between written text and visual presentation. He’s spent the past five years teaching these techniques to professional artists at Marvel Comics, as well as lecturing on the subject to working professionals and comics enthusiasts in the United States and Europe.
An evening spent with this renowned, witty and deeply opinionated curmudgeon will change the way anyone looks at or thinks about a comics page, be they professional, amateur seeking to be professional, or simply interested in acquiring a deeper understanding of a frequently misunderstood narrative craft.
Master Class: The Craft of Comics Writing: The Long and Short of Plotting
Instructor: Paul Levitz
One session, Tuesday, November 29
From one of comics’ undisputed master plotters, Paul Levitz, a discussion of how to construct plots to suit story structures long and short, building ideas from character, and tools for analyzing the form to develop your goals. Everything you ever wanted to know about plotting comics but were afraid to ask!
Paul Levitz was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1956 and entered the comics industry in 1971 as editor/publisher of The Comic Reader, the first mass-circulation fanzine devoted to comics news. He continued to publish TCR for three years, winning two consecutive annual Comic Art Fan Awards for Best Fanzine. His other fan activities included editing the program books for several of Phil Seuling’s legendary New York Comic Art Conventions. He received Comic-Con International’s Inkpot Award in 2002 and the prestigious Bob Clampett Humanitarian Award in 2008. Levitz also serves on the board of the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund.
Levitz is primarily known for his work for DC Comics, where he has written most of their classic characters including the Justice Society, Superman in both comics and the newspaper strip, and an acclaimed run on The Legion of Super-Heroes, a series he’s recently returned to write. Readers of The Buyers’ Guide voted his “Legion: The Great Darkness Saga” one of the 20 best comic stories of the last century, and visitors to the site comicbookresources.com selected the same story as #11 of the Top 100 Comic Book Stories of All Time. Cumulatively, Levitz has written over 300 stories with sales of over 25 million copies, and translations into over 20 languages. As a DC staffer from 1973, Levitz was an assistant editor, the company’s youngest editor ever, and in a series of business capacities, became executive vice president & publisher in 1989 and then served as president & publisher from 2002–2009. He continues as a contributing editor, but is now concentrating on his writing.
Independently Animated: A Master Class with Bill Plympton in the Art and Business of Animation
One session, Tuesday, December 13, 2011
“I want to talk about my career as an independent animator who makes a good living creating independent films by way of showing some of my classic shorts, music videos, and clips from my new feature, Idiots and Angels,” says Bill Plympton. “Plus, I will give a drawing demonstration and talk about how other filmmakers can make a living creating short films. And everyone who comes gets a free Bill Plympton drawing."
Bill Plympton is considered the king of indie animation and is the only person to hand-draw an entire animated feature film—six times over. Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, he began his career creating cartoons for publications such as The New York Times, National Lampoon, Playboy and Screw.-- John Hogan