History of Comics Course @METU

I was teaching a lecture on the history of comics at Budapest Metropolitan University in spring 2021.

The students came from various backgrounds, such as teachers of visual arts, photography, design, and management – so not everyone is an artist who draws, – and they all were working full-time and studying at the same time. This lecture was an elective on Friday nights from 6.50 to 8.10 pm. During lockdown there were no alternative programs, but I admire the students’ dedication nevertheless. They were very dedicated.

Students were given the option to submit practice-based work or they could sit an exam. I’ll show you some of their work right after the syllabus.

Syllabus

1 Comics at the end of the 19th century and in the early 20th century: the influence of changes in the printing press and photography.

2 The Comic Book: the new format and the changes of its audience

3 Comics and Literature: the tradition of literary adaptation comics in Hungary and theories of adaptation

4 The Graphic Novel: how they came to be in the 70s and how they got popular

5 Comics and Theory: Hatfield, Kuhlman, Beaty & Woo

6 The graphic novel 2: memoirs

7 Comics, Cinema, Transmedia: Why are superhero movies so popular? Guest lecture by film critic Zoltán Huber.

8 Webcomics and Materiality: reading and making digitally and a new attention to paper

Assignment 1: choose any comic discussed in lectures 1 and 2 to reflect on a contemporary issue or topic in the style of the chosen comic or artist.

Here are some of the amazing assignmnets by the students. Posted with permission.

George Herriman: Krazy Kat
Dóra Bodor’s reinterpretation of Krazy Kat: pets in quarantine
A street scene by Outcault.
Budapest street scene by Erika Máthé.
Budapest street scene by Attila Trenka.
Opper’s Happy Hooligan
Happy Hooligan aka Balek Ödön today by Karolina Páliné P.

Assignment 2: This assignment is a tribute to the long history of literary adaptation comics in Hungary. Adapt a work of literature (or a segment of a longer work) into comics.

Assignment 3 – Analyze two pages of comics from set A and set B. No computers this time. (Set A: comics we have read. Set B: comics of unidentified origin.) This task comes from Nick Sousanis – thank you Nick!