Teaching intro

Sarah Leavitt at Leeds Comics Forum 2011I firmly believe that anyone can make compelling comics, even if they think they “can’t draw.” At the same time, I know from experience that drawing and writing comics is super hard, and there is always room to push yourself to get better. I get great satisfaction from watching beginning students fall in love with comics, set aside their fears about drawing, and compose funny, poignant, powerful works. I also love challenging more experienced cartoonists to push their writing and drawing skills further.

I’ve been teaching in the Creative Writing Department at UBC since 2012. I began with an undergraduate lecture class on comics, and have been teaching a small, graduate level workshop class in comics creation each term since 2013, both on-campus and online. As of fall 2016, I’m teaching full-time, both lectures and workshops. Exciting!

I’ve also led workshops and given presentations for conferences and for comics and literary festivals — including Thought Bubble (Leeds, UK), Talking About Jewish Women and Comics (New York), Comics and Medicine (Chicago), and Comics in the Multimodal World (Vancouver).

These are some comics from my UBC students, most of whom have never tried their hand at comics before.

Dispatches from Comics Class

I have started a small publication on Medium to collect students’ comics: Dispatches from Comics Class. I like it because students post the work themselves as opposed to giving me permission to post it here. All current and former students can contribute, and I’ve also contributed a few posts about things I’ve done in class. Check it out!

This is the avatar for Dispatches from Comics Class, by former student Keith Warner-Harder

The Birth of Grendel by Elizabeth Leung

Elizabeth is in her first year of the Creative Writing BFA program and
only began drawing comics this term. While first reluctant to draw, she
has happily discovered a medium in which she can express her wacky and
sarcastic sense of humour.

Paris by Amy Kenny

Amy Kenny is a Hamilton-based writer. Her fiction and poetry have
appeared in Room, Monday and The Antigonish Review. Her journalism has been
published by Walrus, Canadian Geographic, National Geographic book publishing
and Explore. She works as a reporter at The Hamilton Spectator.

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Motherhood by Clara Chandler

Clara Chandler is a mother, wife, sister, friend, and student from Vancouver, BC. She is currently juggling all her identities with writing time and the occasional Sunday on the couch.