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Cartoon-making 101

November 12th, 2018

A colourful comic of a crowd of people

Image courtesy of the artist

Want to turn your doodles into a comic strip but unsure where to start? We’ve got you covered. Starting this month, learn the ins and outs of drawing cartoons in our Introduction to Comics workshop for adults.

Bring your cartoon ideas to life in this course taught by acclaimed illustrator and cartoonist Fiona Smyth. She’s illustrated and published everything from comic books to children’s books and even a graphic novel. We chatted with Fiona to learn more about the art of cartooning, her many projects and why she’s excited about the upcoming AGO workshop.

AGO: What drew you to comics and cartooning?
Fiona: I love the accessibility of cartooning – the marriage of words and images and how you can share experiences through comics in a way that’s similar to how memory works.

AGO: What do you enjoy most about teaching people to create comics?
Fiona: I’m excited when folks are empowered to tell their own stories and embrace self-publishing. They discover that sharing their voice isn’t as difficult as they initially thought.

A colourful 6 panel comic

Image courtesy of the artist

AGO: Tell us a bit about the AGO’s Introduction to Comics workshop.
Fiona: In the workshop, I teach about the elements needed to create comics. I also share cartoonists’ work and help participants create a mini-zine by the end of the workshop that they can exchange with each other.

AGO: You collaborated on a children’s books series. Can you tell us a bit about it?
Fiona: I illustrated the kids’ books What Makes a Baby, and the award-winning follow-up Sex Is a Funny Word. Both were written by sex educator Cory Silverberg. We’re working on the third book in the series, which discusses gender, consent and sexuality.

AGO: What other projects are you working on?
Fiona: I teach illustration and cartooning at OCADU. I’m also working on a post-apocalyptic feminist graphic novel for adults titled Spinnbarkeit and an animated short film Adventitia. Some recent projects of mine include mural designs for Trinity College School in Port Hope, comics I created in the anthology 4Panel 2 and a collection of comics I created over 30-plus years from Koyama Press titled Somnambulance.

Ready to create your own comics? The Introduction to Comics workshop for adults (18 years and up) takes place Fridays, 6–9 pm, until December 14. Sign up today!

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