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So You Wanna Write A Funny Book?

Nunzio DeFilippis, with whom I have a long and storied friendship, added to his already substantial skill-set last year by branching into teaching, specifically as the instructor for a course on writing comics available through the UCLA Extension. He invited me down as a guest speaker – one of the many guest speakers he had, actually – and it scratched my instructor itch quite nicely.

The course is being offered again, and I’d link provide a direct link to it if I could, but for some reason the web page for the extension school doesn’t actually seem to allow such linkage. Those curious, interested, or otherwise intrigued, can read the full course description

For generations, sequential storytelling was the domain of the costumed superhero, but with the expanding field of Japanese manga and a wide array of publishers selling graphic novels of all genres, the field is now wide open. From thrillers to romantic comedies, from serialized storytelling to stand-alone tales, there isn’t a genre or story that can’t be tackled in sequential art. This workshop provides a complete introduction to the medium and to the craft of writing stories for comics in all their many forms. Learn the various styles of formatting (loose or detailed scripts) and story structure (stand-alone stories, chapters in serialized stories, or full-length graphic novels), as well as how to tell a story visually and how to pace it. As you move to script, the workshop environment allows class members to help each other develop their ideas from pitch to outline to breakdown to completed project. The course goal is to produce a 22-page script, which can either be a stand-alone story or the first chapter of a larger tale. Also discussed is the industry and how to break in. Enrollment limited to 20 students.

Course Open Reg# T5967U

No Textbook Required

UCLA: 3112 Rolfe Hall
Thursday , 7-10pm
January 17 – March 20 , 10 mtgs.

No refund after January 24.

Nunzio DeFilippis, MFA, writer and WGA member whose graphic novels and comic books include Amazing Agent Luna, Destiny’s Hand, Maria’s Wedding, Past Lies, Batman: Confidential, Adventures of Superman, New X-Men: Academy X, and Wonder Woman, among several others. Mr. DeFilippis also is an experienced screenwriter who has written for film and television.

Actual enrollment, etc, is available at the UCLA Extension site. If you do a quick-search for “DeFilippis” you’ll get a link to the course.

As of this time, I’m scheduled as the guest speaker on the 7th of February, and my understanding is that Oni Press EiC James Lucas Jones will be the guest speaker the week before, on the 31st of January.

13 Responses to So You Wanna Write A Funny Book?

  1. lancescott

    People write the comics? You mean, like, put the words in the boxes and bubbles?

  2. admin

    No, editors put the words in the boxes and bubbles. You should know that.

  3. dafnap

    Damn! And here I was planning on putting that hard earned cash into a savings account in a futile attempt at financial maturity.

  4. jesterwitch

    Speaking of UCLA I’m applying to their Film and Television Dept. as we speak.

  5. nealbailey

    After reading Three Strikes and despite my inherent cynicism toward writing circles, that sounds awfully rad.

  6. jjgalahad

    I’ve never wished to live in California harder than I do right now. Dammit.

    On a side note, thank you for posting links to classes like this, teaching in said class and especially for contributing to books like Panel One (which I love and refer to as I try to write comics). It’s a great thing to know people can find sources of instruction in the medium.

  7. insektmute

    If you ever decide to scratch that particular itch locally, I’d love to see you do something at PCC or PSU. Come to think of it, I think Evan Dorkin had (still has?) a class on sequential art somewhere around town…

  8. stealthbunny

    The first thing that came to my mind was the poor animation students that came to our office … oh, man, almost 20 years ago now, and told us that their instructor had given them strict warning that if they drew ANYTHING that REMOTELY RESEMBLED any of “that Japanese crap”, they’d be failed on the spot. Their god had to be Disney and none other.

    And lookit college now.

    I feel… so vindicated.

  9. stu_n

    Always thought you’d be a good tutor on an Arvon Foundation course, should you want to spend some time in Britain and get paid for it.

  10. thatrogersguy

    Damn I wish this was an online correspodence course, just too far to come from the UK unfortunately.

  11. jmorse

    Ya know Greg, the best steak you’ve ever had is pretty close to UCLA. =)

  12. uclaextension

    Go directly to the Enrollment page


    Gabrielle here, from the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. We’re in the process of updating our UCLA Extension website. In the meantime, if anyone wants to enroll in the course (which sounds great, by the way) here is the url:

    Writers’ Program

  13. admin

    Re: Go directly to the Enrollment page

    Thanks for updating this!

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