I've always enjoyed making comics but have struggled to get them out of my sketchbook. This Spring I'm working my way through Ivan Brunetti's "Cartooning: Philosophy and Practice" with the hopes of remedying the situation and giving my kooky characters a place to live. Brunetti is a comics art scholar, practicing illustrator and teacher at Columbia College Chicago and the University of Chicago.
The exercises from the first chapter encouraged spontaneity, asking to draw famous cartoon characters from memory, without reference. I was shocked at how few I could recall. Another exercise, involved stream-of-consciousness word associations and corresponding doodles. I wasn't super happy with the drawings I came up with in the exercises, but really enjoyed developing them into the characters for the first assignment:
...and here are a few of my single panel comics from the second chapter. Taking baby-steps before I work my way up to lettering. Can't wait to get out of the weeds and move onto more panels. Keeping it simple is anything but!
Embedded below is a video trailer for the book, and a link to a great interview from The Comics Journal (April 2011) with Ivan Brunetti that focuses on his experience teaching.