Creating Comics Without Words with Jonathan Hill

Learn how to use visual storytelling and editing techniques to create a compelling wordless story with Jonathan Hill.

You can pick up a copy of Jonathan’s book Odessa, Volume 1 from our friends at Bookshop, where proceeds will help benefit The Believer and independent bookstores.

Watch the video of the livestream below, and follow these steps to make your own comic.

For this workshop, you will need something to draw with and 8 small ‘panels’ to draw on. You can use post-its, index cards, or a piece of paper that you cut into 8 equal pieces!

Panel 1: A character walks down the street. 
Think about how you can use visual details on the street to convey information

Panel 2: The character notices a box on the ground

Panel 3: The character opens the box.

Note: We don’t want to see what’s in the box! Just them opening it

Panel 4: The character reacts to the contents of the box. They can scream, or react in whatever way you want.
Remember: We still don’t want to see what’s in the box!

NOW: Take eight minutes and draw two more panels
. You can add them anywhere you want in the sequence, and they can be of anything you want

Next: Draw one more panel, which can go anywhere in the story.

Finally: Set all of your panels in front of you and look at the story you’ve created. Which panels can you remove while still keeping the essence of the story? You can also rearrange the order of your panels!

We’d love to see what you made! Share your comic on social and tag @believermag and @oneofthejohns.

This workshop was supported in part by Zappos.

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