» Workshops

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 If you're looking for any other comics workshops, read on!
 

Comics Workshops

Between the Panels is 7000 BC's series of comics workshops for teens and adults, empowering participants to tell their stories in word and image.  We run the series online every saturday for 16 weeks in the Spring and the Fall, as well as a shorter, more focused series for 8 weeks in the summer.  Workshops are Pay-What-You-Can and Drop-In Students are welcome.  So sharpen your pencils, roll out the virtual paper and get ready to draw upon your strengths.  Join us as we explore a storytelling medium like no other!

Comics Curriculum

Are you an educator, librarian, or simply looking to explore comics curriculum on your own? Between the Panels curriculum will be posted here as it becomes available.  For curriculum and materials, scroll down to The Workshop Schedule.

Who We Are

For more than fifteen years, non-profit arts organization 7000 BC has been bringing comic book workshops and presentations to libraries, schools, and other venues across New Mexico. Rather than using an illustration-based approach, participants combine word and image through fast-paced, hands-on workshops focused on how storytelling functions in the unique medium of comics.  We show how it’s possible for anyone to produce their own comics.
 
Join indie comics creators Jeff Benham (Peoplings, 2017 DiNK Fellow Denver Independent Comics Expo), Bram Meehan (designwritingdirection.com, bramletters.com), and Paul Ziomek (Fakin' the Funk, 2018 Adobe Government Creativity Award Finalist - "Safety Matters") as they guide you through the world of comics.

The Workshop Details
  • WORKSHOPS are presented online through Eventbrite for a Pay-What-You-Can Donation.
  • Suggested Donation - $25 per workshop, but anything $1 or more is fine.
  • Need-based scholarships are available. Email Jeff to inquire.

  • WORKSHOPS ARE VIRTUAL.  We use Zoom for workshops, so you'll need to sign up for a free Zoom account as well.

  • MATERIALS are simple - paper and pen or pencil. A nice dark pen will make it easier to share over Zoom what you're working on.  On occasion we'll ask you for other common household objects, nothing fancy.

  • WHEN YOU REGISTER, you'll get a weekly reminder about upcoming workshops unless you tell us to stop.  We won't send you anything else.

The Workshop Schedule

Between the Panels
Spring 2022 Schedule

January 15 - April 30, 2022
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM MST

All classes work individually or as a series.
Each workshop focuses on a different aspect of the comics creation process.
Workshops highlighted in blue are linked and currently available for registration.
New workshops are made available 6 weeks before the workshop date.
Register for all 16 workshops and you'll receive a Certificate of Completion from 7000 BC!

Highlighted dates link to workshops that are on sale now.

Saturday, January 15 — What Are Comics? (Opening Up Panels, Their Contents, and the Space Between)
An introduction to what makes a comic a comic. A panel a panel. And a gutter a truly fascinating place to be.
What Are Comics? explores what makes the comics medium unique, how we are acculturated to comics, and the interaction between the comics creator and the comics reader.

Saturday, January 22How Many Radioactive Squirrels Does it Take to Make a Comic? (Clear Storytelling with Banana-Thieving Squirrels)
Exploring too much or too little.  
How Many Radioactive Squirrels Does it Take to Make a Comic? uses an 18-panel comic to prompt an exploration of clarity in comics storytelling.
 
Saturday, January 29The Shape of Characters to Come (Character Definition and Quick Draw Mug Shots)
Visualizing a character's stance by their stance, within a wall of ugly (and otherwise) mugs.  
The Shape of Characters to Come explores the use of design to communicate with the reader before they've read a single word.
 
Saturday, February 5 — The Down Elevator to Backstory (Design Sheets and Fictional Pasts)
Speak swiftly and carry a big sketchbook.  What floor, please? 
The Down Elevator to Backstory guides participants through one example of how research can elevate visual storytelling.
 
Saturday, February 12Thumbnailing with Kaiju Claws (Enhancing Story with Tiny Broad Strokes)
How many ways can you trim your thumbnails and still have them be your thumbnails?  
Thumbnailing with Kaiju Claws introduces participants to composition in sequential art and the value of working drawings that no one will ever see.
 
Saturday, February 19Picturing Words in Drawings (Text and Image Interacting)
It's a new type of comic once you let the letters in.
Picturing Words in Drawings guides participants through technical and conceptual approaches to the use of text in comics.
 
Saturday, February 26The Covenant of the Arc (Character Arcs and Story Arcs)
Weaving the patchwork of pathways through your story.  
The Covenant of the Arc explores a variety of narrative arcs that are useful in establishing the structure of a story.
 
Saturday, March 5Mini Comics! What's the Big idea? (A Grand Story in Eight Tiny Pages)
An instruction manual for making your way between extremes. 
Mini Comics!  What's the Big idea? distracts participants with the physical process of producing a mini-comic while guiding them to the heart of telling a story with a very personal purpose.
 
Saturday, March 12The Unexpected Three-Panel Comic (Stories are Everywhere)
Accidentally created a comic?  Be re-introduced to the language of comics and the landscape of our brains.  
The Unexpected Three-Panel Comic re-introduces students to comics through our natural instinct to connect concepts and form stories.
 
Saturday, March 19A Genre By Any Other Name (Forming Stories and Approaching Form)
Is it true that the truest tale is truly dull?  A mystery, a rom-com, and a memoir walk into a bar. 
A Genre By Any Other Name looks at what genre is, how parameters define any given genre, and how exploring those parameters might keep your reader's attention.
 
Saturday, March 26 — Turning Over A New Leaf  (The Importance of Page Turns)
Breathing life into the desire to see the next page.  
Turning Over A New Leaf makes participants aware of the enhanced importance of how and where your reader turns a page when working in a visual storytelling medium.
 
Saturday, April 2You Call That A Comic? (Theme Showing Itself as Format)
The container that is your book.  How can it reveal your ideas? 
You Call That A Comic? uses a discussion of theme and plot to create a non-traditional book object that reflects the theme of the comics story it contains.

Saturday, April 9 Caught Up in the Moment (Time in, Around, and Between Panels)
Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana — and comics time flies like nothing else. 
Caught Up in the Moment proposes that a panel is a boundary around a moment of time and explores what that means for how time and space can be manipulated in a comic.
 
Saturday, April 16The Cantina at the End of Storytelling (One-Upmanshipping with MacGuffins)
One shoe is all you need to make a fine MacGuffin Jam and serve it up to be forgotten in a never-ending tale. 
The Cantina at the End of Storytelling engages the dramatic mechanism known as a MacGuffin to have participants collectively create a single continuous story.
 
Saturday, April 23Prince Joe Versus the Evil Wizard of Grammaria (How Storytelling Functions in the Brain)
Exploring the psychological, emotional, and physical effects of a good story, found on the bread aisle. 
Prince Joe Versus the Evil Wizard of Grammaria breaks down how the brain processes visual storytelling as participants collaborate as writer, artist, and reader.
 
Saturday, April 30 The Gestalt of It All (History, Monsters, and Show and Tell)
Monsters have controlled the evolution of comics.  What have we wrought? 
The Gestalt of It All discusses the historical development of comics and tackles the personal monsters that try to limit a creator's output.