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The Art and Craft of the Weekly Comic

Course dates

July 1 to July 14, 2019

Application deadline


Develop your story ideas into a publishable weekly comic as you learn to create compelling, multi-dimensional characters and draw faster and more expressively.

  • Explore comic character development and storytelling techniques while working through the visual prototyping process.
  • Increase your ability to depict humor and drama through word and image.
  • Infuse your comic art with more confidence and graphic expressiveness through iterative drawing techniques.
  • Explore short-form and long-form comic narratives.
  • Display your comic sequences and stories in a public student showcase exhibition.

graphic of swirling dots  


Undergraduate: ART 421, 3 units
Graduate/post-baccalaureate: ART 621, 3 units


$ 75


Fine art majors (drawing, painting, printmaking) as well as commercial art majors (animation, illustration, graphic design) will enjoy this master class in visual storytelling. English and communication studies majors with drawing skills will enjoy transforming their written narratives into graphic story sequences. Graduating high school seniors and post-college graduates are also invited to apply.

All applicants should have intermediate to advanced proficiency in drawing. Additional useful skills include rapid prototyping sketching, gestural sketching ability, experience in hands-on pen (or brush) and ink techniques, as well as digitally comparable work in graphic software packages such as Photoshop or Illustrator. A passion for character and story development is a plus.


  1. Submit a typed essay—up to one page in length—discussing your comic making and/or storytelling experience, as well as what you hope to explore during this course. Submit a web portfolio of 8–10 images of your current artwork, including image titles, media, and dates completed. You should include the URL of your web portfolio in your essay.
  2. Submit/upload the materials listed in step one when you apply online by April 29, 2019.


Professor Mario Estioko

Guest Artists


Brian Crane

Cartoonist Brian Crane is the Reuben Award-winning author of the comic strip, Pickles, which features an elderly couple and their daughter, grandson, and pets.  Crane’s work is funny and uplifting, focused on strong characters who are “decent folk.” He draws some inspiration for his comics from his retired in-laws, who “bicker back and forth but are totally devoted to each other.” Pickles was nationally syndicated in 1990 and today appears in about 1,000 newspapers around the world. Brian also received the National Cartoonists Society Newspaper Comic Strip Award in 2001. 


Kim Dwinell

Cartoonist Kim Dwinell Kim Dwinell is an illustrator, animator, and graphic novelist who teaches at California State University Long Beach. She is the author and illustrator of two graphic novels—Surfside Girls: The Secret of Danger Point, and Surfside Girls: The Mystery at the Old Rancho. Her books focus on best friends Sam and Jade who put together clues to save their town from unexpected threats. When she’s not working on any the above, she’s running or out in the ocean on her boat or surfboard, getting one more freckle. She lives on a tree-lined street in Long Beach, California, with her husband, son, and various pets. 


Mario Estioko

Course Coordinator Mario Estioko is a professor of graphic design at Sacramento State University. Estioko has created visual experiences for such companies as Intel, Sysco, Charles Schwab, General Mills, and Clorox Co. His humorous illustrations have appeared in Boca Raton Magazine, Salt Lake City Magazine, Sactown Magazine, and The Comic Press News. He currently creates a single-panel online cartoon entitled “Incompatibles.” In 2016, his cartoon work was collected and published in the anthology, Incompatibles – The First 100 (Havenhurst Press).


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