Comics workshop

Workshop leader: Alexandra Shevchenko 

Workshop timeframe: 3 days spread across 2 weeks. 

At some point the learning design team started experimenting more and more with narrative in interactive lessons. One of the ways to tell stories in a concise and engaging way is comics, but it also requires quite specific storytelling knowlege and an extended toolset of artistic methods to visualise those stories. Not all illustrators where fluent enough with the background of comics and with visual lools that they use, so I decided to organise a group workshop to expand their expertise.

The workshop was aimed at the illustration and editorial teams – since comics combine text and image we wanted to see how both teams could collaborate. Everyone was divided into 6 teams of 3-4 people with at least one editor. 
I reviewed existing content and chose two narratives to choose from: the first one was the myth of Atlas & Hercules, and the second – The Overcoat by Nikolai Gogol. 

Alexandra split her lecture in 2 main parts starting with history and main principles of comics and moving on to particular compositional tools that could be used to communicate things like time. 
Over the course of 3 days teams developed at least one solution for their given text and presented them in the design of a lesson.

Day 1

Breaking down the texts into main parts/meanings. 
Most teams started with distributing the frames equally. Next stage would be to experiment with sizes and composition of the frames and how it could affect the story. 

Day 2

Working with the composition of the sheet and editing. Here the compositions became more complex, not just of the whole sheet but also the compositions within each individual frame. 

Day 3

On the final day of the workshop the teams focused on working within the layout of a lesson and adjusting the final piece to the educational purposes, finalising layouts and compositions within their comics. 

Individuals also chose to work further on their own narratives as an experiment.

Final comics

Transmission of heat: Alexandra Dokukina, Ksenia Samarina (editor)
The Overcoat: Diana Hoang, Dmitry Zubenko, Ksenia Samarina (editor)
Atlas & Hercules: Ekaterina Lyaskho, Alina Lebedeva (editor)
The Overcoat: Alexandra Dokukina, Ksenia Samarina (editor)
Atlas & Hercules: Maria Varazi, Polina Kuravina, Anastasia Khasanshina, Natalia Serkina (editor)
Life of an acorn: Maria Varazi
Atlas & Hercules: Lev Polyakov, Alina Lebedeva (editor)
The Overcoat: Irina Kravtsova, Yulia Popova (editor)
The Overcoat: Alexey Grabilin
The Overcoat: Dinara Galieva, Elizaveta Vakhrusheva (editor)
Atlas & Hercules: Alexandra Khalbaeva, Yulia Vlasenko (editor)
Battle of Jericho: Ksenia Zdorovets, Yulia Vlasenko (editor)

Evgenia Barinova
Art director and educator specialising in illustration and communication design. Illustrators’ rights activist, co-founder of magazine. 
Based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. 

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