In a UW–Madison art course, students named ‘Hamlet,’ ‘Hello Kitty’ and ‘George Washington’ all can be found. As one of the first tasks of Art 448: Making Comics, students must choose a pseudonym to go by.
Though students are known by these pseudonyms throughout the duration of the class, creative writing graduate student Emily Shetler says the comics classroom is a place where students can truly be themselves.
“It’s all about what you do and what comes out of you,” she says. “You’re not trying to emulate anybody else in any way and that is really freeing.”
Now being offered during summer term, the class focuses on the art and practice of making comics, or as instructor Jason Kartez describes it, “visual storytelling through combined words and pictures.”
He says the course involves “creative communication” where students of all majors and art backgrounds can learn the process of illustrating comics, as well as developing narratives to express oneself.