Elective | 2D Classroom. CG Master Academy
Creating Comics & Graphic Novels
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Registration Starts On
February 26, 2018
Class Begins On
April 28, 2018
Jason Brubaker
Comic Artist

Jason Brubaker began his career as an artist in 1996 being represented by Famous Frames, a storyboarding agency in Los Angeles, where he drew hundreds of commercial storyboards for film and television. His credits include Blade, Pitch Black, and Van Helsing. In 2002 he began working as a traditional animator for motion design studios in Los Angeles and New York and was soon art directing animated commercials. In 2009, he began working at Dreamworks Animation on the Kung Fu Panda trilogy as a Visual Development Artist. In his off hours Brubaker worked on self-publishing his own graphic novels. His first graphic novel, reMIND was published in 2011 and won the Xeric Award. It was also included on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens list 2012. As he delved deeper into the self-publishing world, Jason decide to quit his job at Dreamworks Animation to pursue publishing his own comics full-time. In 2015, he moved back to his hometown of Pocatello, Idaho and has been working on comics ever since.

You can see his full movie credits at IMDB here.

Course Description

Note: This course is not an introduction to comics or graphic novels, and a script will not be provided. Participants are expected to come with their own ideas/story as well as solid drawing and digital painting skills.

During this course students will bring their own stories to life using images that will efficiently aide in creating a short or long-form visual story. The lectures and assignments will touch on all the major aspects of developing original story and imagery for comics or graphic novels: writing, character and world building integration, among many other topics. Most importantly, students will learn how to create comics or graphic novels that are relatable and emotional, with characters and stories that will resonate with audiences. By the end of the course, students will have completed the beginning pages of their comics or graphic novels, and will have a road map for going all the way to the finished product! The students will use and develop their own stories throughout the course.


Storyboarding for Animation, Comics: the Art of Storytelling, and a strong drawing foundation in both characters and environments. Students must already have a long-from idea that they would like to develop (or multiple ideas). 



  • Adobe Photoshop or Clip Studio Paint
  • Scrivener (writing software)

Course Format

Course Format: Standard
Duration: 8 Weeks
Lecture Type: Pre-recorded
Assignment: Deadlines each week.
Feedback: Individual Recordings
Q&A: Once a week.

*For classes with fewer than 6 students feedback may be provided during the live Q&A session.

Course Outline


Introduction: Why are you doing this?

  • What is your message?
  • Why are you writing this story?
  • What is your motive?
  • Clarify your "why"


Who are your characters?

  • Character designs: pull from your life
  • How can you write your characters so that they seem real?
  • The hero's journey


Fleshing out your world

  • What is your world? Figuring out its past, present, and future
  • Building out the world for your story
  • Putting your characters into the world


Loose Scripting: your bullet point list

  • The mystery in your first page
  • The last page: How will the story end?
  • Reviewing our message
  • Reviewing our character quirks
  • Discussion on writing styles: architect vs. gardener



  • Thinking of spreads instead of pages
  • Key scenes
  • Flesh out your art direction
  • Leading the eye and keeping the audience wanting to flip that page!


Dialogue: making it sound real

  • Conversations are messy!
  • Don't just say what you show, and vice versa
  • Breathing room for dialogue
  • Narration and prose
  • Adding dialogue after your pages are sketched out vs. before


Honing in the style of the story so that it can be accomplished in a reasonable amount of time

  • Figuring out what a finished page will look like to fit your characters and story arc
  • Color or no color?
  • Digital or traditional art and inks?


Where do we go from here?

  • Finish your first 2-3 pages
  • Make your road map for going forward so that you can complete your journey
  • Setting up your daily and weekly goals
  • When to start showing the world your new baby


  • Comic Artist
  • Traditional Animation
  • Storyboard Artist
  • Concept Artist
  • Illustrator
  • Visual Development Artist