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Sample Program: Family Comics

Parent-child teams create comics!Description:

Create a comic book about your own family! Use pictures and text to create engaging graphic narratives from the stories only YOU can tell. Parents and children interview each other and retell the stories they learn in comics form.


  • Participants create 1-2 page comics about a specific event or episode in their family’s history.
  • Participants collaborate to create comics that no single member could have created alone.  (Collaboration may include planning, feedback, artwork, writing, or production of a comic.)
  • Participants learn comics production techniques, and share that knowledge with each other.


Participants should each bring a family member (ideally one child and one parent) for collaborative creative work.  Before the workshop, partners might like to discuss what stories they would like to tell in comics form.

Class Length: 

1 full-day workshop


  • Brainstorm Sketching:  Participants sketch different elements of their family life on index cards.  Symbols, words, squiggles, or any other kind of mark are fine; the point is to mark the card in some way that might suggest an element of a story.
  • Feedback: Trading cards, artists give specific positive feedback.  We write questions, responses, ideas, and observations on the backs of the cards.  This helps us tailor our ideas to our readers’ needs.
  • Comics Demonstrations:  In a group discussion, we highlight important elements of comics, including foreground and background, combinations of words and pictures, showing actions, reading order, and other group-directed areas of study.
  • Planning:  Using the cards from the Brainstorm exercise, artists arrange their stories for 2, 4, or 8 panels (pages), deciding what points of the story to show, and what words to include.  Partners must also decide how they will work together on their project(s).
  • Work Time! Partners work on their projects, using P.I.E. techniques to produce carefully composed, readable artwork.
  • Comics Theatre:  We read through some comics with the group, noting the techniques and styles used by other artists.

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