Course dates

Saturday 21 Oct 2023
10am-1pm | 6 weeks

Course overview

Led by multi-award-winning tutor, Alexis Deacon, explore what makes a compelling comic and graphic novel; and take your first steps towards making an original story of your own creation.

Alexis was an excellent, insightful and knowledgeable teacher. I was impressed by how much ground Alexis covered even in the very first session and by the end of the course, I had a much better grasp of the subject. I feel that I can tackle the daunting task of creating my graphic novel and have the tools to get it done.

Dafydd, Spring 2023

The structure of each lesson was informative and educational, but also had great creative challenges and tasks so you really felt like you were accomplishing things each week. It was also a great way of sharing your work with an audience and being able to see other people’s work too.

Lily, Spring 2023

As a comic creator, you'll learn to draw on the resources that we all share, the dreams and experiences of our every day, the special events in our lives, and the world we observe all around us. The course will build towards the creation of your own two-page original story, guided by Alexis in a short one-to-one tutorial and in weekly workshops exploring different aspects of comic-making.

Throughout this course, you'll learn the fundamentals of communicating stories through pictures, how to simplify and clarify ideas, create consistent recognisable characters, and how to take those characters on a journey through comic panels.

The course is open to participants with all levels of writing and illustration experience. The teaching style will be interactive and hands-on.

Course structure

Four-week structure

The structure below reflects the four-week (online) delivery of the course:

  • Session 1 – Introduction to comics. Morning workshop – Consistent and recognisable characters. Afternoon workshop – Storytelling with pictures, stripping an image down to the essential

  • Session 2 – Plotting, planning, pacing. Morning workshop – Stretching and squashing time, how to edit comic panels. Afternoon workshop – Storyboards and thumbnails, illustrating a comic script

  • Session 3 – Finding your voice. Morning workshop – Playing with methods and materials. Afternoon workshop – Using observation and experience

  • Session 4 – Completing projects. Morning workshop – Second draft, refining and improving your work. Afternoon workshop – Character or plot, expanding and developing ideas into longer projects

Six-week structure

The structure below reflects the six-week (online) delivery of the course:

  • Session 1 – Introduction to comics – Storytelling with pictures, you'll look at the essential elements of composition in sequential art.
  • Session 2 – The newspaper strip – You'll look at the importance of consistent, recognisable characters and make a four-panel comic.
  • Session 3 – Diary comic – Stretching and squashing time, how to edit a comic script and make roughs, culminating in a single-page sequence.
  • Session 4 – Research and observation – You'll look at the importance of having good source material and begin to gather the references we will need for a longer project.
  • Session 5 – Finding your voice – Beginning work on your longer story, you'll look at different ways comic artists use materials and try some of their methods for yourself.
  • Session 6 – Your own story – You'll look at preparing a pitch for a publisher and ways to get started in comics.

Learning outcomes

On this course you will:

  • Improve your skill and efficiency in drawing
  • Develop an understanding of comics as a medium, and how to communicate through them
  • Gain the confidence to write and illustrate longer works in panels
  • Develop knowledge of the industry and how to approach comic publishers
  • Improve your prospects of successfully taking a graphic novel or comic to publication


Early bird price: £314.50 Standard price: £370

Goldsmiths offers a 15% concession rate on short courses to Lewisham Local cardholders, Students and Goldsmiths Alumni. Please email for further information. Please note these concessions cannot be applied to early bird bookings.

Booking information

Please note our short courses sell out quickly, so early booking is advisable.

Saturday 21 Oct 2023
10am-1pm | 6 weeks


Online or On campus


If you have any questions about this course please contact shortcourses (

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Disability Support

We are committed to providing reasonable teaching adjustments for students with disabilities that may impact on their learning experience. If you require adjustments, please contact us at so we can respond to your requests as soon as possible.

Tutor information

Alexis Deacon

Alexis Deacon is a multi-award-winning author and illustrator with twenty years’ experience in the Industry. His first book, Slow Loris, was named one of the hundred best children's books of all time by Time Magazine in 2015. He is the author of the graphic novel series “Curse of the Chosen”, and winner of the 2014 Observer/Jonathan Cape/Comica Graphic Short Story Prize for his comic “The River”.  He has worked as a teacher of Illustration for over a decade on industry-leading programs in the UK and Europe, notably on the BA Graphic Storytelling course at The Animation Workshop in Denmark and the MA in Children’s Book Illustration at ARU. 


About the department

Our Department of Media, Communications and Cultural Studies is committed to asking the hard questions about the media that will change the world in the 21st century. We are ranked 12th in the world for communication and media studies, and 2nd in the UK for "world leading or internationally excellent" research. The Department works closely with a range of bodies including the Centre for Feminist Research and the Centre for Investigative Journalism, as well as housing important research centres in media democracy and political economy. 

The Department offers both a range of well-established undergraduate programmes and a series of dynamic and innovative postgraduate pathways. The Screen School houses a number of highly renowned filmmaking and scriptwriting programmes, and regularly hosts events in their state-of-the-art lecture theatres and studios in the Professor Stuart Hall Building. The Department is devoted to integrating criticism and creation, through a mixture and theory and practice at all levels of study. Industry speakers, networking events, careers fairs and the option to undertake work placements alongside international exchange programmes connect us to the wide world of media work. 

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