Dec 032012

Hi, Comics for Kids Recap Readers!

Here’s a quick programming note: there are many many many photos of student work this time around, so, this blog is going to be split into TWO parts: the recap of the actual lesson that we had (which is this blog entry), and as soon as is possible, the second half will be uploaded.  That second half/blog entry will have all of the students’ work included.

This is being done to not overload the website with images, and to make it a bit easier to navigate.  As this week’s lesson was all about making 3D characters out of Sculpey clay– and putting those characters into scenes, that got photographed and turned into one panel comics– many, many photos were taken.

So, scroll down to read the lesson that we had– AND, instructions on how to bake Sculpey at home if you are so inclined!  Stay tuned for the second blog entry.  In a few days, the student Sculpey scenes/work will be posted to complete this blog entry.

Have fun reading and learning, and check back soon  –!!



Along with books, there are a lot of other things present in Comic Culture– toys and games are two big things related to comic books, even though they are not actual books.  For those of you who have your own characters, thinking of making them into 3D figures or toys might be very helpful for you!


-Card Games

-Role Playing Games (such as “Dungeons and Dragons”)

-Video Games

-Action Figures

-Stuffed Animals

-Vinyl Toys

-Polymer Toys

-Stop Motion Character Models

-3D Character Design Models


*It feels and looks a bit like modeling clay– but, unlike modeling clay, it doesn’t harden in air.

*IF you want it to be permanently solid, you DO NOT bake it in a Kiln (like pottery clay) and you DO NOT Microwave it.  A grown-up has to bake it in the oven for you, using SPECIFIC DIRECTIONS.  Those will be at the end of this packet.

*It is safe to use, but always wash your hands after using it, and never eat it!  If you have a grown-up help you bake it, make sure you do not bake it higher than the Degree indicated.

*You can use Sculpey that is already in color, or use white Sculpey, and paint it AFTER baking it.  Character designers tend to use all one color Sculpey, and then paint it later.

Here is a quick review of character design– because it can help when making these 3D clay creatures. 

You’ll find that this lesson also includes pictures of how to make Sculpey characters, if you’re stuck on ideas of what to make.  AGAIN—the main focus is on creating 3D shapes to put together these characters.  You can make any 3D Sculpted character you choose—including one you have drawn before.  The examples in here are to show how step by step shapes are put together when sculpting instead of drawing your characters.

Here’s an example: The Sculpey Monster!

While we do not have the computers to make stop motion animation in class, we can STILL create comics with your figures, in a stop motion style.

This can either mean using the clay to sculpt a 3D Character who you then practice drawing.

OR, it can mean using the clay to make a character– and take pictures of that character, in different positions– which could then later become a comic.

(Teacher’s note:  This hilarious and very cute comic can be found at, and a whole collection of Marlowe cartoons can be purchased in book form from the website, or from Meltdown itself!  In class, we only reviewed examples that were rated PG, although please note that if you do buy the book, some panels discuss dating/other more grown-up things– just an FYI that hopefully is a help!)

While the comics about “Marlowe” are one panel comics, it is also possible to do more than one panel comics if you photograph your figure in various positions—this is a bit more like stop motion animation.  Look at the photo below as an example:


  1. Make Sculpey, 3D models of a couple of characters from something you have worked on.  You may also make a new character.

2.  Think of a story to put these characters in, and pose them—once you have them in the first pose, think of the TALK BUBBLES they would be speaking, and WRITE THEM DOWN.

Write down their dialogue, and we will together TAKE A PICTURE of the characters.  You may also draw a background for them, or use the background around you as the backdrop.  It can either be a one panel comic, or a few panels.

The pictures we take, I will take home—and then put together, to show you how a 3D comic would look, like the ones we looked at as an example.

Once you have posed your character as much as you would like, decide what position you want him to stay in!  That is how he will look when he gets baked.



  1. IMPORTANT NOTE– if you or the grown-up you know do not feel comfortable baking your character at home in your oven, please leave it here at the center with me, and I will bake your Sculpey character for you between now and next class!
  1. IMPORTANT NOTE TWO– You can choose to never bake your Sculpey, if you want to always be able to play with it and mush it.  This is just so you know.
  2. IMPORTANT NOTE THREE–IF you choose to bake it at home, AGAIN, you MUST have an adult help you.
  1. TO BAKE SCULPEY AT HOME:  A)  Have an adult pre-heat the oven for you, to bake your clay at 275 Degrees FARENHEIT.

B)  Place your finished clay on a cookie tray, covered in aluminum foil.  This will make the clay easier to pick up when it is baked, and it will keep the tray from being stained.

C)  After the oven is pre-heated, have the adult you’re working with carefully place the tray with the Sculpey on it into the oven, to bake at 275 Degrees Fahrenheit.

D)  Leave the clay to bake for twenty minutes.

E)  Have an adult turn off the oven, and let the clay sit an extra ten minutes in the heat.

F)  Have an adult take out your clay, and have it sit in a safe place to COOL– do not touch the clay while it’s cooling.  It can hurt to touch when still hot, and it is not totally hard until it is cooled.

G)  After half an hour, your clay character should be cooled down, and ready to use and play with!