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7000 BC's Between the Panels

Comics Workshops


Improve your ability to communicate through word and image.

Uncover different aspects and perspectives on the comics-making process.

Explore the essence of what makes comics unique through invigorating and contemplative workshops.

Why not tickle your brain with comics?!!

Between the Panels, 7000 BC's series of pay-what-you-can online comics workshops return to enliven your 2023.  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.  Drop-in students are welcome! 

Registration is required.  Workshop registration is through Eventbrite 

Pay-What-You-Can.  Suggested Donation is $25/workshop.  Need-based scholarships are available.  Email Jeff to inquire.

Once registered, you'll get a weekly invitation to upcoming workshops unless you tell us to stop.  We won't send you anything else.  We use Zoom for workshops, so you'll have to sign up for a free Zoom account here as well.

Between the Panels

Between the Panels is currently on hiatus.  Check back or email Jeff for more info.

All classes work individually or as a series. Workshops highlighted in blue are linked and currently available for registration. New workshops are made available 4 weeks before the workshop date. Register for all 16 workshops and you'll receive a Certificate of Completion from 7000 BC!

Workshop #1

  • What Are Comics? (Opening Up Panels, 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.

Workshop #2

  • How Many Radioactive Squirrels Does it Take to Make a Comic? (Clear Storytelling with Banana-Thieving Squirrels)
  • Exploring too much and 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.

Workshop #3

  • The 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.

Workshop #4

  • The Down Elevator to Backstory (Design Sheets and Fictional Pasts)
  • Speak swiftly and carry a big sketchbook. What floor, please?
  • The Down Elevator to Back Story guides participants through one example of how research can elevate visual storytelling.

Workshop #5

  • Thumbnailing 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.

Workshop #6

  • Picturing 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.

Workshop #7

  • The 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.

Workshop #8

  • Mini 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? poses an 8-step method to get to the heart of storytelling with a very personal purpose.

Workshop #9

  • The 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 participants to comics through our natural instinct to connect concepts and form stories.

Workshop #10

  • A 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 a genre is, how the definition of a given genre is defined, and how those borders can keep your reader's attention.

Workshop #11

  • 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.

Workshop #12

  • You 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.

Workshop #13

  • 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.

Workshop #14

  • The 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.

Workshop #15

  • Prince 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.

Workshop #16

  • The Gestalt of It All (History, Monsters, and Comics)
  • 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.  
7000 BC can provide lectures on a variety of comics topics.  Here are our most requested lectures.  If you would like a lecture on another comics topic, please email Jeff.

Lecture #1

  • A Threat to the Future (Censorship, Bannings, and Burnings in the World of Comics)
  • From The Yellow Kid's personal rights to the Drama of today's Mauses.  A raucous cautionary tale.
  • Comic strips, comic books, and graphic novels have faced censorship in stores, libraries, Congress and elsewhere since their inception.  What have those challenges been?  Where did they come from?  How have they shifted with legal, societal, and technological currents? 

Lecture #2

  • Prince Joe Versus the Evil Wizard of Grammaria (How Comics Function in the Brain)
  • The psychological, emotional, and physical effects of a good story, found on the bread aisle!
  • Good stories climb inside us and affect us psychologically, emotionally, and even physically.  Our brains rely on images and stories to frame our understanding of the world.  What's really going on in there?  Don't our cognitive processes all work the same?  How would we even find out?  Explore these questions and more.

Lecture #3

  • The Sleep of Reason (Monsters, Evolution, and Comics)
  • Monsters have controlled the evolution of comics. What have we wrought?
  • We discuss the historical development of comics and how monsters, both fictional and non-fictional have presided over changes in comics content and publication.

Lecture #4

  • Time and Space on a Page (A Theoretical Treatise on Comics and Science)
  • The archaeology of comics, science, and the quest for the Unified Theory.
  • Explore the history and use of science in comics. See how the visual language of comic books has tackled everything from explanations of how Superman flies to the development of the Manhattan Project.
Comics Curriculum
Are you an educator, librarian, or simply looking to explore comics curriculum on your own? Between the Panels curriculum packets will be posted here as they become available.  The first packet is available now!

Packet #1 - Mini-Comics!  What's the Big Idea? Click HERE.   

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, Bram Meehan, Brittany Sedillo, Peter Ziomek, and Paul Ziomek, as they guide you through the world of comics.