Collaborative Graphic Novels

Collaborative Graphic Novels from a Visual Storytelling class

Discovery. A Collaborative Graphic Novel. Winter 2019.

Discovery. A collaborative graphic novel edited by Danièle Archambault

Discovery. A collaborative graphic novel edited by Danièle Archambault

Discovery. A Collaborative Graphic Novel.

Discovery is a collection of comic short storiescreated by the students of the Winter 2019 Visual Storytelling class, Writing and Publishing a Graphic Novel, at the Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto, California.

For a few years now, I have been teaching various visual storytelling classes for adults at the Palo Alto Art Center. Students enjoy learning the basics of different forms of visual storytelling and creating their own story with texts and images. In 2016, I offered the students the possibility of going one step further to discover the excitement of not only writing but also publishing a graphic novel by designing a new class: Writing and Publishing a Graphic Novel: A Grand Voyage.

The class was a success and the final collective graphic novel included eight complete stories of five pages each.

Three years later, we are repeating the experience. The project is ambitious. Over the course of a ten-week evening class, students learned to develop a multiple-page story using sequential art, in the visual narrative style of their choice: memoirs, fiction, children stories, science-fiction and fantasy.

A series of exercises introduced the students to the fundamentals of visual storytelling such as storyboarding, thumbnailing, character design, picture composition, camera angles and shots, page layouts, etc. While many students preferred traditional techniques, such as pencil, black ink and watercolor on paper, others chose to work with digital tools. Finally, the class participants learned to organize the collection of individual stories into a cohesive digital graphic novel. Topics included book layout, cover design, title page, preface, barcodes and ISBN numbers, copyrights, etc. The students selected “Discovery” as a common theme for their stories, a theme that could be taken literally or figuratively.

The final collaborative graphic novel book includes seven complete stories and the beginning of an eight one. Two of the class students had participated in the Winter 2016 class. A few others had already taken one of my visual storytelling classes in a previous semester. Some of the class participants are beginners with little or no experience at all in storytelling or art. Other students are aiming at a professional career as illustrators and children book writers. The final collaborative graphic novel book includes eight complete stories of various lengths. All the stories are wonderful! They range from touching personal memories to complete work of fiction, all of them sharing, in a way or another, an element of discovery. Each of the stories in the book is preceded by the student’s self-portrait and artist statement. Some of the students also included at the end of their story a selection of their preliminary work, thumbnails and sketches, giving the reader an idea of their creative process.

Discovery is available to all as a PDF, an ePub, and as a video.  For now, you can download the PDF version, free of charge, on this webpage. The ePub and video will be available soon. The book was designed with a simple and convenient iPad app: “Book Creator”by Red Jumper www.redjumper.net/ 

Enjoy this Discovery!

Danièle Archambault, Ph.D.

Linguist and cartoonist

Class instructor

Daniele@DanieleBD.com

Download or read the book as a PDF.

Once you click on the book title in blue (below), you will see the cover of the book. Click on it and the pdf will start.

Discovery. A collaborative graphic novel

Voyages. A collection of stories. Winter 2016

Voyages. A Collective Digital Graphic Novel

Voyages. A Collective Digital Graphic Novel. Edited by Danièle Archambault

Voyages is a collection of sequential visual stories created by the students of the 2016 Visual Storytelling class, “Writing and Publishing a Graphic Novel,” at the Palo Alto Art Center, Palo Alto, California.

For a few years now, I have been teaching various graphic novel and illustration classes at the Palo Alto Art Center. The classes are a success! Students enjoy learning the basics of different forms of visual storytelling and creating their own story. However, I wanted to offer students the possibility of going one step further to discover the excitement of not only writing but also publishing a graphic novel. For the winter 2016 session, I designed a new class:  “Writing and Publishing a Graphic Novel: A Grand Voyage.”

 The project was ambitious. Over the course of a ten-week evening class, each student had to develop a five-page story in the visual narrative style of their choice: comics, memoirs, travel diaries, children stories, science-fiction epics, superhero adventures, etc. The common theme “Voyage” could be taken literally or figuratively. A series of exercises introduced the students to the fundamentals of visual storytelling such as storyboarding, thumbnailing, character design, picture composition, camera angles and shots, page layouts, etc. While many students preferred traditional techniques, such as pencil, black ink and watercolor on paper, others chose to work with digital tools. Finally, the class participants learned to organize the collection of individual stories into a cohesive digital graphic novel. Topics included book layout, cover design, title page, preface, barcodes and ISBN numbers, copyrights, etc.

The final collective graphic novel includes eight complete stories. Two of the students had their stories accepted for publication in professional magazines before the end of class and therefore were not allowed to include them in this class project. Although we are sorry not to be able to show their work in this collective book, we are all thrilled for them! Each of the stories in the book is preceded by the student’s self-portrait and artist statement. Some of the class participants were total beginners with no experience at all in storytelling or in art. Others were professional illustrators and children book writers. All the pieces are wonderful! They range from touching personal stories to complete work of fiction, which is also the way we decided to present them in this book. We also thought it might be interesting to add, following the series of stories, a section including some of the students’ thumbnails and preliminary work.

Voyage is available as a pdf, an ePub, an iBook and as a video.  You can download all these versions, free of charge, by scanning this QR code or going directly to this webpage. The book was designed with a simple and convenient iPad app: “Book Creator” by Red Jumper www.redjumper.net/ 

Enjoy this wonderful voyage!

PDF Format (49.6 MB)

Click on the blue link below to download and read the book as a pdf file. (This is quite a large file).

Voyages PDF Format