Eisner-award winning comic book scribe Brian Michael Bendis announced on his Jinxworld forum that he will be teaching a class at Portland State on writing graphic novels. All I have to say is where was this class when *I* was in college? I thought it was pretty sweet that students were getting to read graphic novels in school. Now they get one of the greatest comics writers of the modern age as a professor? I’m jealous!
Bendis certainly has the pedigree to teach this course. He spent years toiling away doing independent comics (Torso, Jinx) before moving up to the big leagues as part of Ultimate Spider-Man. Since then he’s become the premier writer at Marvel Comics.
The course description is as follows:
“The graphic novel features the unique marriage of words and pictures that has seeped into every facet of popular culture. This course will focus on all the storytelling elements that create the written word of this unique visual medium. Students will study the form and its influences, discover and create original works for both print and digital platforms, and be put through a classroom version of the editorial process. Throughout the term, there will also be a smattering of comic book professional guest lecturers.
Texts will include:
Story: Substance, Structure, Style and The Principles of Screenwriting by Robert Mckee
Comics & Sequential Art by Will Eisner
On Writing by Stephen King
Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative by Will Eisner
Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud”
If Bendis himself wasn’t enough, the course description also mentions “a smattering of comic book professional guest lecturers.” Given his superstar status in the industry, I’m sure those he brings in will be quite impressive as well. Even though I can’t participate in the class, it’s great to see these sort of classes cropping up at colleges. It’s a clear sign that the industry has and continues to gain in respectability.