Graphic Memoir (6 CH)
Seminar - UHON 301

Instructor(s): Megan Jacobs , Amaris Ketcham

Course Description

Memoir is perhaps one of the most democratic forms of writing—anyone who has lived or been passionate about a subject can write one. From the daily grind to life-changing experiences, comics capture our experience of what it means to be human. Graphic memoir fuses storytelling with expressive mark making, varying greatly stylistically (from the naive artist to the traditionally-trained) and thematically (from the transformative nature of travel to learning to live with a disability).We will use the creation of graphic memoirs as a tool to reflect on aspects of one’s life, particularly points of transformation. Throughout this course, we will read and analyze several examples of graphic memoirs, practice drawing and writing in class, and learn the process of making comics, from thumbnailing to pencils to inking.  

​​In this 6 Credit Hour block course, students will enroll in two sections of UHON 301 to develop storytelling techniques, writing styles, and the sketching of essay/memoir comics. We will analyze examples, learn the history of graphic memoir, and ultimately, create our own comics. There will be opportunities to create and experiment in class and develop works in progress through iteration. Open to creatives of all levels and abilities—no background in art or creative writing necessary. 

There will be a $40 course fee which will provide students with the artistic materials you will need for the class: a sketchbook, flair pens, ruler, composition notebook, and other art supplies. Students will take part in Albuquerque Zine Fest.  

Texts

The following graphic memoirs will be required readings: 

 

Barry, Lynda. One! Hundred! Demons!,Drawn and Quarterly, 2017.  

Bechdel, Alison. Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic, Mariner Books, 2007.  

Bui, Thi. The Best We Could Do: An Illustrated Memoir. Abrams ComicArts, 2018.   

Chong, Vivian and Georgia Webber. Dancing After TEN, Fantagraphics, 2020. 

Delporte, Julie. This Woman’s Work, Drawn & Quarterly, 2018.  

Knisley, Lucy. Relish: My Life in the Kitchen, First Second, 2013 

McCloud, Scott. Making Comics, HarperCollins Publishers, 2006. 

 

All excerpted readings will be made available on the course website. 

Requirements

Attendance/Participation 

Presentations  

  1. Class Discussion Leadership 
  1. Graphic Memoir: Source of Wonderment 
  1. Graphic Memoir: Final Presentation 

Comic Assignments 

  1. Inspiration Map 
  1. Four-panel Comic 
  1. Food Zine 
  1. Demon Comic 
  1. Foundation 

Final Comic  

Reflection and Analysis Essay 

About the Instructor(s): Megan Jacobs , Amaris Ketcham

Megan Jacobs  is an Associate Professor in the Honors College and holds a Master of Fine Arts degree. Jacobs' teaching interests include photography, installation art, aesthetics, material culture, data visualization, and exhibit design. Megan is a practicing artist whose work has been exhibited internationally and nationally at Aperture Gallery, Saatchi Gallery, the Museum of New Art (MONA), and the Pingyao International Photography Festival, Pingyao, China. Her work has been featured in publications such as Musee Magazine, Lenscratch, Feature Shoot and Frankie Magazine. 

Amaris Feland Ketcham occupies her time with open space, white space, CMYK, flash nonfiction, long trails, f-stops, line breaks, and several Adobe programs running simultaneously. Her award-winning writing has appeared in Creative Nonfiction, the Los Angeles Review, Prairie Schooner, Rattle, and the Utne Reader, and dozens of other venues. She’s currently researching a guidebook of New Mexico campgrounds for Menasha Ridge Press. Her book of poems, A Poetic Inventory of the Sandia Mountains, was published in 2019. Her work with Poetic Routes has been adopted by the Albuquerque City Planning Department, as a way to use poetry as a means of understanding neighborhoods and community character throughout town. 

Amaris is the Faculty Advisor for the nationally acclaimed arts and literature magazine Scribendi. In addition to teaching the ins and outs of literary publishing, she teaches nonfiction and poetry comics, narrative journalism, handmade books and zines, and creative placemaking.