Nov 012012

Hi Everyone!

Just in time for Post-Halloween, you can check out our lesson from last week.  It focused on creating MONSTER characters– which meant traditional, scary Halloween types, as well as how to create one’s own monsters by mixing and matching animals and creatures (much the way the animators did when creating the famous Beast from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast”).

As usual, scroll down to see what the lesson was, and then peek below to see the monstrously creative work the students did.  Have fun!

                                  OCTOBER LESSONS:                    

­                                   An Introduction to Creating Your Own Monster Characters!                                     .

Monsters can be very scary, but they can also be funny—much like Zombies or Zombie stories, stories about Monsters—or Monsters themselves— can be a comedy OR a drama, and they are often featured in the Horror Genre.  If not Horror and Halloween, Monsters can show up when it is a fantasy story.

What do you think of when you hear the word “Monster?”  What are some differences between different types of Monsters? 

Historically, when movies about monsters first came out, the monsters were often somewhat smaller- vampires, werewolves, and Frankenstein’s monster are not much bigger than humans.  Interestingly, after the Second World War, monsters such as King-Kong and Godzilla became more popular.

Some studies suggest it was a response to war and weapons in the world– think of Godzilla, who is a huge monster that only science and weapons can defeat. Continue reading »

Oct 252012

Halloween is near, and that means– some Comics for Kids lessons that are on theme for this October!  Last week, we learned about creating stories and characters on a very popular theme right now: ZOMBIES.

Scroll down to see the lesson we had, and then scroll below that to see what the students created this week!

OCTOBER LESSONS: Creating Zombie Characters  –!!

Right now, Zombies are very popular—whether it’s Halloween or not!  However, since it is October, we’re going to have some upcoming lessons dedicated to types of characters, and creating characters, that are especially popular at this time of year.  While Zombie stories can be funny or serious, they always fall into the genre of HORROR: that means stories that are scary, include monsters, and sometimes, characters that are only semi-alive. Continue reading »

Sep 192012

Thanks for reading our latest blog recap, for Meltdown University’s Comics for Kids:  This week’s lesson (and this blog post) focuses on DIALOGUE, and WORD BALLOONS.

Dialogue can be a lot more complicated than just what a character says.  The same line of dialogue will be different depending on the facial expression of the character who says it– or how the dialogue box itself was actually drawn.  Some dialogue boxes are barely there, and others are very important to the entire LAYOUT of the comic.

Scroll down to read the lesson plan and what we learned on this front.  As usual, scroll down below that to see what the kids came up with.

Thanks for reading!



Using the SHAPE of Word Balloons to help your characters talk, and using DRAWINGS and DIALOGUES together to tell your story!


Continue reading »

Sep 102012

Story: Liz Ohanesian

Photos: Shannon Cottrell

Take a minute to think back to the late 1990s. SHAG’s paintings of mid-20th century scenes were all the rage and a new hit cartoon called The Powerpuff Girls brought an unusual retro-modern style to the small screen. Sanrio was now popular with more than just little girls and Paul Frank’s character, Julius the Monkey, was popping up on wallets across the country. Clean designs and cute characters were everywhere from CD covers to make-up packaging.

It was Paul Frank, in particular, whose work influenced a teenager in the Southern California city of Temecula. Michelle Romo wanted to do what he did, create adorable characters that could mark all sorts of products. “But,” she points out in the living room of her Eagle Rock home, “I didn’t know anything about anything because I was 18.”

Romo had an advantage in that her mom, a graphic designer, was making the transition from working by hand to working with a computer. As her mom learned programs like Illustrator, so did teenage Romo.
Continue reading »

Sep 042012

This week’s Comics for Kids Class here at Meltdown was a ton of fun!  We reviewed some character design principles, while learning a new thing that’s important when drawing comics, and characters that are going to look as if they are moving:  The Line of Action.

Read on, to see the lesson we went through.  And scroll beyond that to see everyone’s stellar work this week!    

                                                                                     CHARACTER DESIGN:

                                                                How to DRAW Characters  in Motion, and THE LINE OF ACTION! 

A character is who a story is about– and designing your character is very important when you want to make a comic.

Returning students, and those who have started their own stories outside of class—you have characters you have already created.  A little of this lesson will be “Character Design” review, but it mostly is full of new stuff!

This lesson can help you CONTINUE to work on the drawing and design of those characters—or, it can help you decide how to create NEW characters.

For those of you who have not yet created a character—or created characters, but not sure which ones you want to tell stories about— this will help! 

Continue reading »