The Metamorphosis of Munch

A pupil at the Sequential Artists Workshop develops her pupal character into a lavishly illustrated story set in a richly imagined world.


Somehow I have already finished the first half of my year of study at the Sequential Artists Workshop. I’m bewildered by how quickly the time is passing, and my head is really spinning with all the information. I am deep into comics history, reading, techniques, and all kinds of drawing. I wanted to take a moment to check in with the outside world and share some of the work I’ve been doing.

Building Character

In Kurt Wolfgang’s cartooning class, we were asked to invent a new character and then continue to develop that character and its world during each session. This is how I came up with Munch, a little caterpillar with big fears. For one assignment, Kurt challenged us to make our characters display specific moods and perform certain actions.



A Whole New World

Kurt then asked us to show our characters interacting with other characters in their world. This meant developing the layout of the page and the composition of elements within the panels. (The spider below is based on a banana spider found in Florida. They actually are that scary-looking.)


We were instructed to draw our characters’ environments without the characters in them. I decided that I wanted Munch to live in a natural word that was playful and twisty.



New Media

In Justine Mara Anderson’s class, we focused on skill building, traditional materials and techniques. On one occasion, however, we were instructed to explore different experimental drawing techniques. I drew the following page with only a toothpick and ink on bristol board.


We also explored different materials in Tom Hart’s class. I created this page with gouache on craft paper and began experimenting with some dialog.


I would use the characters like puppets in my mind, observing what happened when they talked to each other.


And out came a beautiful… caterpillar

Through these assignments, I came to understand Munch’s character and life. This work culminated in my final assignment for my first semester at SAW, a sixteen-page story about Munch and his friends. Here are a few spreads from the middle of the story. (While the Munch minicomic will be printed in black and white, these are the versions made while experimenting with color in Photoshop over winter break.)





For my most recent Munch project, I printed an accordion book in three colors on a Risograph Copy Machine (my first risograph!), with the intention to make art that could function both as decorative display and a comic.

Photo by Tom Hart.

Photo by Tom Hart.

The Sequential Artists Workshop is currently running its 2015 fundraiser. My first issue of Munch: Survival of the Larvae and the decorative accordion book are among the many gifts offered contributors.  It’s a worthy cause, AND there are awesome Ron Regé, Jr. tee shirts and posters that you won’t find anywhere else.

Support SAW / Nab some great comics.

For those wondering where have all the gorillas gone, they are coming, I assure you! Lots more comics and learning are on the way in 2015.  Thanks for checking in!


Cara Bean

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