Comic book art courses to arrive in Spring semester


In the 2020 Sping Semester, Jeremy Tinder will teach courses on comic book artwork.

By Chris Plumery

DeKALB — NIU’s School of Art and Design has been missing one important art form in its curriculum, until next semester. 

The program will offer a class relating to comic book artwork for the spring semester under ARTS 436 Special Topics in Illustration. 

The class will be taught by Jeremy Tinder, a cartoonist with experience creating comics and graphic novels.

“The class is a studio course and students will read avant-garde comics,” Tinder said. “Students will learn comic writing, thumb-nailing, penciling, inking and coloring through short storytelling exercises. Students can work with traditional or digital materials.”

The class will be held Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 8:45 p.m. inside the Jack Arends Visual Arts Building, Room 307.

“Comics are my favorite thing to teach, and [it] is my favorite art form,” Tinder said. “I want to help the students here make them.” 

He has been creating comics since 2002, such as “Transformerman” and “Heat Escapes” to name a few. He also published a graphic novel, “Cry Yourself To Sleep,” in 2006.

Tinder said he wanted to have the class for some time and was glad it got approved. 

A student in the program chose their major because of their passion for comics. That student is Hadley Richardson-O’Brien, a senior illustration major who has already signed up for the class. 

“I really like comics, and it’s why I got into illustration,” Richardson-O’Brien said. “It’s nice to have a comic class to focus on, and it’s good for my portfolio.”

The class will entail several weeks of short two page comics, followed by months of work for one 20-page final project that will create a small comic book for the students. 

“I’m into comics, and it will be fun,” Isaac Larussa, another senior illustration major, said. “For me it’s just an excuse to make more comics.” The more comics he makes, the easier it gets, according to Larussa.

The assignments will be influenced by the students’ progress in the class. “Skills lacking in the previous assignments will be how I determine the next projects moving forward,” Tinder said.