Graphic Novels and Comics - Portfolio Preparation Course

About the course

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Why choose this course?

Course Dates:

Monday 27 July to Friday 31 July 2020 - 9.30 to 15.30

Saturday 07 November to Saturday 05 December 2020 - 9.30 to 15.30

Cost £200

Graphic Novels and Comics are two of the most popular forms of visual storytelling. While the term ‘Graphic Novel’ became popular in the 1970s, comics are much older and are found in all cultures. They have been part of human storytelling since Roman Times (possibly even earlier).

In this course, over the 5 days, you will create a two-page comic as part of an anthology (a published collection of images and/or texts). Your graphic novels and comics will be in black-and-white, will be pencilled, inked and lettered by you, and as well as being printed they will also be published on a digital platform.

What happens in the workshops:

  • Understanding of the overall process of creating a comic: writing, pencilling, inking, colouring, lettering and printing or digital distribution.
  • Exploration of comic culture and the comics and graphic novel industry.
  • Exploration of visual languages and their application to narrative (how to tell stories with images and text).
  • Development of drawing skills and book-making techniques.
  • Introduction and practice of making comics using Adobe Photoshop software.
  • Ability to discuss and present work effectively, and to communicate your ideas.

What will you learn?

  • Day 1: Discussion of comics and artists (looking at examples)
  • Day 2: Character development and the creation of an environment for them.
  • Day 3: Pencilling in and inking your comics. 
  • Day 4 & 5: Lettering (adding words), and finishing your comic pages for print and uploading to an online platform.

You will leave with a copy of your graphic novel, printed, and having uploaded it to an online platform. designed, created and illustrated by you. The course will give you a good grounding in graphic novel and comic illustration.

Useful information


This course is for 13 to 17 year olds.


Signing in takes place from 09.15 - 09.25 each day in the Gallery. which is located between the Art and Design Building and the Todd Building. Please see the campus map, for details.

We finish at 15.30, and it is important that you arrange to be picked up promptly at this time. If you have any problems and think that you may need to be picked up be later, please let us know at the morning drop-off and/or when you sign in.


Parents: When registering, please enrol with your own details. There is a field on the enrolment paperwork where you can enter your son or daughter's name.

Where to find us

Our address is College Lane Campus, Hatfield, Herts AL10 9AB.

For Maps and Directions please visit our helpful ‘Where to Find Us’ page. The School of Creative Arts is on the bottom left corner of the downloadable map. You can use car park P-E to park your car for drop off and collection.


Each group will have an art assistant with them for the whole time whilst they are taking part in the course. This assistant can help you with any problems you have while you are on site. All tutors and associated helpers for this course have been DBS checked.

Emergency contact

We need to have your contact numbers so we can contact your parents/carers in an emergency. These must be confirmed on the first day, when you are registering. If you need to contact us, please phone the Short Course Office on 01707 285327.  


Wear suitable and comfortable clothes as you may get messy and dirty (this is what art is all about!). An overall, apron or large shirt would be ideal. Please bring this with you from your first day.

Food and drink

Each participant should bring their own packed lunch. There will be vending machines available for extra treats so please allow your son or daughter to bring a small amount of cash if you would like them to be able to use this facility. Free water and squash will be available during breaks and lunchtime, in the Chill Out space. 

Rest Area

The rest area is for use during breaks and lunch time where you can sit, chat and have lunch. 


All materials and equipment needed to take part in all of our children's summer workshops will be provided by the University. You do not need to supply any materials of your own.


If you need to bring any medication with you, please make sure it is clearly labelled with your name and any instructions. These medications can be administered by us provided a medical permission form has been signed and handed in on arrival on your first day.


We are all looking forward to a fun week, but to help things run smoothly, there are some rules we would like you to follow. To make sure that you have read them, we would like you to sign the rules form and return it to us on your first day.

All forms are emailed after enrolment.



Start DateEnd DateDay and TimeCostLink
07/11/202005/12/2020Saturdays 09.30 to 15.30£200Apply online