The Anti-Graphic Novel

Instructor: Jessica Reed
D
ate: Sunday, March 22
Time: 1-4 p.m.
Location: IWC
Cost: $75 Nonmembers, $48 members, $42 student/teacher/senior/military/librarian  members

The first lesson most creative writing students learn is that image comes first. But what if, strictly speaking, that's not true? In What We See When We Read, illustrator Peter Mendelsund suggests that we are not as visual as we suppose. With the explosion of graphic novels in the twenty-first century, it's worth reflecting on what writing shares with, and where it differs from, actual drawings.

In this workshop, we will explore a short story by Italo Calvino where each paragraph describes the panels of a would-be comic as the narrative unfolds. We will discuss how this experimental fiction contrasts with an actual comic (as well as where comics break the fourth wall), and investigate the role of image and words in our own stories. Participants might draw, story-board, and "translate" panels into prose to see how image works in each story's mental landscape, highlight the function of language, and possibly demonstrate that image doesn't always come first.


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