Comic Books and Graphic Novels

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10/10 stars
based on  75 reviews
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Course Details

Cost

FREE

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  • On demand

Course Provider

Coursera online courses
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with yo...
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with your coursework. Coursera also partners with the US State Department to create “learning hubs” around the world. Students can get internet access, take courses, and participate in weekly in-person study groups to make learning even more collaborative. Begin your journey into the mysteries of the human brain by taking courses in neuroscience. Learn how to navigate the data infrastructures that multinational corporations use when you discover the world of data analysis. Follow one of Coursera’s “Skill Tracks”. Or try any one of its more than 560 available courses to help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

Provider Subject Specialization
Humanities
Sciences & Technology
4719 reviews

Course Description

Comic books have arrived! "Comic Books and Graphic Novels" presents a survey of the Anglo-American comic book canon and of the major graphic novels in circulation in the United States today. Its governing question is simple: by what terms can we discuss comic books as literary art? In pursuit of that question it develops a theory of literary reading and time itself. Visit us at www.facebook.com/UCBComics or bit.ly/project10-4 to see some student-created comics from 2013!
Reviews 10/10 stars
75 Reviews for Comic Books and Graphic Novels

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Nigel Potter profile image
Nigel Potter profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 10 months ago
The course, quite simply, was excellent. The subject matter and academic approach was demanding, fascinating and its delivery outstanding. The course content was deep and rich, and was presented in a thoroughly approachable, enthusiastic and accessible manner. Professor Kuskin is a superb educator: inspiring, challenging and motivational. The inclusion of the comic book project was an inspired choice, providing a practical application to the theoretical components that were taught. What better way to actually learn? The course has changed me. Not only in the way I perceive the subject matter, but in the way I see popular culture as a whole. It has changed my approach to my own work and my approach as an educator. I cannot recommend the course highly enough. Thank you to everyone involved, and especially Professor Kuskin.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 1 month ago
I thought the course content was excellent, the videos clearly presented by well informed tutors. The lectures included interesting challenging material, and the learning tasks got you thinking - I learnt a lot!
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
4 years, 2 months ago
I have enroled for so many courses on coursera, but I think this was the only course where I watched all the video lectures as well as submitted my assignments. I probably would have not been so enthusiastic till the end of the course and actually submitted my own comic if Prof Kuskin was not the instructor. Taking up this course also made me realise how bad my writing skils are and I need to work for it. Overall a very good experience.
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Student

4/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 8 months ago
This is only to show a different and constructive view from mostly everyone else´s. The course is too long and it´s focused mostly in comics with marginal attention to graphic novels. Superhero oriented. Almost no attention to non USA comics. Too theatrical lectures to satisfy a non critical audience.
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L. Aventoza profile image
L. Aventoza profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 3 reviews
  • 2 completed
5 years, 10 months ago
Very inspiring and educative course by Prof. William Kuskin! You'll be hypnotized from the first lecture, and when you regain to senses, you'll find yourself written bunch of essays, drawn plenty unknown creatures on every surrounding scrap of paper, and even compiled your first Graphic Novel. And yes, this course will swallow you on much more than 3-4 hours per week.
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Marta Mussi profile image
Marta Mussi profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 10 months ago
I had been reading and loving comics for years, but Professor Kuskin's course has taught me to appreciate a comic book as a poem, a piece of literature with a message that is expressed through specific tropes and narrative devices. The lectures analyzed in depth crucial moments in comic book history, always with an attentive and critical eye in reading the pages of comics masters. Writing the essays I was able to train my own critical understanding of a comic book page, while also improving my English writing skills. The comic book project has really pushed me to explore my creative capabilities in crafting a story and expressing it not only in words but also visually. I never thought I had it in me: I wish to recommend this course not only to those comic book lovers who want to understand comics more deeply, but also to readers in general. This course will teach you a lot about comics, literature, creativity and art.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 10 months ago
I took the course because I am a high school English teacher who found myself teaching a course in graphic novels for the first time this year. Although I am a comic book reader, I felt it would be good to take the course. My original intent was to watch the lectures and do what ever work my time would allow. I really did not think I would be able to complete the second paper or the comic, possibly one but not the other at best, but I found myself getting so excited about the course that I completed all of the work. The lectures were very informative, and I watched several of them twice. This course is a definite keeper.
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Steven Hargraves profile image
Steven Hargraves profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 10 months ago
I'd only taken MOOCs which involved exams before, and any that involved more serious interaction like writing and uploading my own songs or recording improvs just proved too time consuming and I dropped out - but such was the communal feeling on the discussion groups and the support - that despite 3 weeks away from the course, I still managed to cram in the work at the end before the deadlines! It's fascinating and wide ranging - going from exams on the history of american comics to writing in depth analysis on a single page of a comic book, to writing and illustrating your own comic. It's pretty demanding at times (especially the final weekend in cramming for the last exam and making a 6 page comic with colour cover!) but like anything = the more effort you put in, the more reward you get out. Best MOOC I've ever done by far.
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awessendorf profile image
awessendorf profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 10 months ago
I can't say enough good things about this course. I learned so much and I was pushed... in a very good way... to do things I would never have done on my own. I have a whole new appreciation and passion for comics. And creating my very own comic at the end was a nail-biting challenge that I couldn't be prouder of having completed. Professor Kuskin's obvious passion for the subject matter was positively infectious and I couldn't help being inspired. His approach and deep knowledge kept me tuned in interested the entire time. And his "Team Zero" support staff couldn't have been any more responsive and great. I HIGHLY recommend this course. You will work hard, you will learn a ton, and you will be incredibly proud of yourself at the end.
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Mike Stanford profile image
Mike Stanford profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 9 months ago
Professor Kuskin's Comic Books and Graphic Novels is excellent and by far one of the best courses I have ever taken either online or offline. I took this course to rekindle my interest in this medium both as a consumer and potential creator. As someone with only an average knowledge of the subject I found that the information provided expanded upon this and took my interest to the next level. The Professors well presented video lectures show a deep passion and understanding of the subject whilst providing easily accessible information to both the novice and the most experienced enthusiast. To fully benefit from the course and complete the assignments I would recommend putting in the hours, especially for the comic book assignment. It does say that it is 3-4 hours per week but if you consider additional study, assignments and subsequent peer evaluations you need to at least double that. You have to put the work in to appreciate this c... Professor Kuskin's Comic Books and Graphic Novels is excellent and by far one of the best courses I have ever taken either online or offline. I took this course to rekindle my interest in this medium both as a consumer and potential creator. As someone with only an average knowledge of the subject I found that the information provided expanded upon this and took my interest to the next level. The Professors well presented video lectures show a deep passion and understanding of the subject whilst providing easily accessible information to both the novice and the most experienced enthusiast. To fully benefit from the course and complete the assignments I would recommend putting in the hours, especially for the comic book assignment. It does say that it is 3-4 hours per week but if you consider additional study, assignments and subsequent peer evaluations you need to at least double that. You have to put the work in to appreciate this course but it is an experience well worth undertaking. That is not to say you can't take the course if you only have the minimum hours available it is still worth starting. I would certainly consider taking any other course provided by Professor Kuskin and TEAM ZERO plus will most certainly be keeping an eye out for any follow on courses.
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Student profile image

Student

10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 9 months ago
I had no prior experience with comics, except indulging in some readings of Mickey Mouse or Rahan when I was a child. Now, I am working in the field of digital comics, so I was very much interested in being very strong on what I though to be the basics. I found myself in the middle of a very interesting course, far beyond what I imagined, and while it didn't touch some topics of my interest (digital comics, alternate genres - BD and manga, research approaches involving comics) or barely scratched the surface of some other (comics economics, the structure of comics), I've definitely learned a lot and I feel that a new universe has opened in front of me. Thank you to Prof. Kuskin and Team ZERO. I definitely hope for a new (even better!) iteration of the course! Onwards! :)
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Andrew Feltham profile image
Andrew Feltham profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 2 reviews
  • 2 completed
5 years, 10 months ago
The course professor's enthusiasm emits from the screen making this online course educational and entertaining. The session had significant staff forum presence, however the quality materials stand adequately autonomous. Students submitted fantastic work in peer reviews and forums but even novices clearly learned, engaged and had fun. Coincidently, last evening I visited the Graduate Institute Library in Geneva Switzerland and a box full of comic books was on the floor. No further need for condescending attitude or embarrassment, equipped with an academic spin on comics from this course, I sat down, read them, and enjoyed.
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Terry Buckingham profile image
Terry Buckingham profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 10 months ago
I was abit daunted on the writing but it has been many years since writing essays but once I got over that hurdle it did push me and that I will so cherish. I found the project amazing but also frustrating in myself. but Prof. Kruskin videos and encouragement so helped me get over those hurdles. I enjoyed his lectures and the guests information a treasure trove of knowledge. Great course study.
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Claire Brantley profile image
Claire Brantley profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 10 months ago
This was my first experience with a MOOC. I have been interested in Comic Books since I was a young girl, and I have a background (BA and MA) in English, so I thought this course would make for a good experience. It was great in ways I didn't imagine, and it was frustrating in ways I didn't anticipate, but overall -- I think it was a wonderful experience. Prof Kuskin made the material come alive for us, his enthusiasm is infectious, and I thought the assignments were thoughtful and well considered for our massive student body of learners. What I was frustrated by -- all the ways this course was NOT like a traditional course -- I had to write my papers for peer reviewers, some of whom didn't speak English as a first language, and some of whom don't share my background in literature. However, by the end, I have come around to seeing that this is a new way of learning and I shouldn't foist my preconceived notions of learning on this new... This was my first experience with a MOOC. I have been interested in Comic Books since I was a young girl, and I have a background (BA and MA) in English, so I thought this course would make for a good experience. It was great in ways I didn't imagine, and it was frustrating in ways I didn't anticipate, but overall -- I think it was a wonderful experience. Prof Kuskin made the material come alive for us, his enthusiasm is infectious, and I thought the assignments were thoughtful and well considered for our massive student body of learners. What I was frustrated by -- all the ways this course was NOT like a traditional course -- I had to write my papers for peer reviewers, some of whom didn't speak English as a first language, and some of whom don't share my background in literature. However, by the end, I have come around to seeing that this is a new way of learning and I shouldn't foist my preconceived notions of learning on this new process. We all have Google, we can all look up any historical date or figure, or allow it to do math for us, etc. What will matter in the future is our ability to break complex problems into critical details, synthesize information so as to come up with new solutions, etc. And THAT is precisely what a MOOC offers -- you get help more from colleagues than the instructor -- and the result is not so much that you get an "A" or score points -- but that you truly learn something. That's a hard thing for me to forego -- I have spent 40 years figuring out how to get an A -- but when I let go of that -- I saw the power of the MOOC in a really clear way. And I liked it very much. Prof Kuskin made this a terrific experience, and I'm sorta sad it's over, honestly. I'm already exploring other MOOCs now.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 9 months ago
Great course that offered insight in the vastness of the comics and graphic novels world. Great for anyone wishing to understand more of the complexity and grandness of the media.
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Manolia Kalfaki profile image
Manolia Kalfaki profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 9 months ago
I have always loved reading comics and decided to take this course in order to learn more about the process of creating a comic. But this course was so much more! I learned about the evolution of the medium of comics from when they were just strips to the artistic graphic novels I appreciate. And also how great artists work and how they have evolved in their art. I recommend this course to anyone interested in comics or in literature in general.
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Noa Seger profile image
Noa Seger profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 10 months ago
I've taken great courses on coursera, but this one, so far, was the best. Prof. Kuskin is the kind of educator that motivates you to do your best. I cannot thank him enough, it has been a fantastic experience. To make a long review short, this course is bright, fierce and beautiful.
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Momcila Velickovic profile image
Momcila Velickovic profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 10 months ago
The course was a wonderful experience. I Cannot stress the importance of an excellent teacher in education. Prof. Kuskin inspired me to love comics even more than I did before. I wrote, even though I've never written anything in a second language. I drew, even though I cannot draw. The course was so enjoyable, I find myself missing it every day and thinking of my next comic project. :) Tnx to all. Momcila
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Student profile image

Student

9/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 10 months ago
I didn't know much about comics and graphic novels before taking this course but I certainly do now. This was the first MOOC I had taken and now I can't stop. Professor Kuskin's enthusiasm for what he is teaching is infectious and it was a perfect blend of history and concrete examples. The essays and comic book project were challenging but well worth doing. I would recommend this course to everyone, even if you don't like comics right now by the end of this course you'll have gained a new appreciation.
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Ariosto Montisano profile image
Ariosto Montisano profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 10 months ago
This is my first experience with a MOOC and I am incredibly satisfy. I did not have any expectations. I just love comics and graphic novels and thought this could be a way to learning more about how to experience them. The course showed me a great many things. Even more so than only an appreciation of comics. Prof. Kuskin showed a lot a passion and dedication to the course and I could feel all that and apply it in appreciating the lectures and the exercise necessary to complete the course.
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Student profile image

Student

10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 10 months ago
I took the course because I like comics, as a hobby, but I've never been too serious about it. The course has completely changed the way I look at comics and read it. I now found in comics great depth I didn't see before. It was fascinating! Kuskin is a great teacher not just because it is very interesting to listen to him when he talks, but also because he gave significant tasks that taught me a lot. It's true I worked hard on the essays and the comic project, I even considered leaving the course because of it! But I'm glad I didn't, I've learned so much. I'm strongly recommending the course.
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Ciara Johnson profile image
Ciara Johnson profile image
8/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 10 months ago
So, I teach high school English and I was looking for something that could fill my clock hours and help me in the classroom. Mr. Kuskin's class has helped me as a reader and as a teacher. I've used some of his videos in my IB courses to get students thinking about the relationship between text and image, and he has helped me to see more myself. The course does take some time. The comic book project is a labor, but it really forces you to apply course learning to a product. This aspect of the class has helped me to reconnect with my own students and rethink some of the crazy projects I come up with for them. Nothing like a role reversal to do that for you. I would take this course again, or take a second level of the course in a heartbeat.
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Student

10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 10 months ago
This course was amazing in that I learned so much about comics and graphic novels, also in how the class pushed me to learn and gave me a real sense of achievement! Prof. Kuskin's enthusiasm was infectious, he is a wonderful teacher, and he encouraged me all along the way...
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Student

9/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 10 months ago
I have been reading comic books for the last few years and it has struck me how many interesting aspects of plot, layout and other features are found in a comic that cannot be found elsewhere. This course was able to give me a chance to analyze comics and interact with like-minded people. I loved the essays and the comic project helped me throw away my inhibitions about drawing. I loved this course and given a chance, would do it again!
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sdrcrm profile image
sdrcrm profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 10 months ago
This course exceeded my expectations and was harder, in a good way, than I thought it would be. I was fairly new to the subject matter and have a full- time job so I ended up not completing all of the required assignments (I never did the comic book project, despite best intentions.) The online format requires a different type of discipline but it is definitely effective. This was my first MOOC so I have no comparison. I liked everything about the course, except one thing: Professor Kuskin, I'm sorry, but you are not so good with the voices. I would recommend that you read aloud using your regular tone of voice and let the listeners use their imagination. It was bit distracting...
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Gary Hicks profile image
Gary Hicks profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 10 months ago
Very detailed and highly informative course that I enjoyed immensely. If it is offered again, I would seriously consider enrolling again. Should Prof.Kuskin, Team Zero and the university offer an "advanced" comic books course, or a follow on course I would certainly enroll. Prof.Kuskin's passion and enthusiasm for the subject clearly shines through and added hugely to the lectures. I found the presentation style exactly in keeping with my expectation and the course team and Prof.Kuskin himself to be friendly and approachable.
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Julia Cook profile image
Julia Cook profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 5 reviews
  • 5 completed
5 years, 10 months ago
I had no prior experience with the subject of comics but have studied literature to PhD level. I have done some tremendous courses but this was far and away the best. I loved Prof. Kuskin's approach. His knowledge and passion for the subject is inspirational. I learned so much about comics which had previously been a mystery to me, but, most importantly, I learned how to read and write in ways I had never thought about before. This course has enriched me in far-reaching ways beyond those you would expect from any course. I will continue to apply what I have learned in this course. I don't think it would be too much to claim that it has, in fact, changed my life! As Kuskin himself would say: Onwards!
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Letraspace (Linda) profile image
Letraspace (Linda) profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 10 months ago
This was my second MOOC, and I think I have been very lucky. Both classes I took were on a high level and certainly well worth the time spent. I was afraid that peer grading would feel unfair, but it actually worked very well, and reading other students' assignments absolutely added to my learning. I liked that this course gives an important background on the development as well as recent history of comics (mostly in the United States, but also in Europe), and it focuses in how every page is vital to the process of reading and staying interested in the story. I learned a lot about the pacing of a story, using both visual and textual elements, by analysing (in the assignments), listening (to the video lectures) and reading the thoughts of others (in comics, assignments, and the discussion forums). In a sense, this is a class about visual storytelling, one page at the time. ... And I'm also happy that I know more about the person behin... This was my second MOOC, and I think I have been very lucky. Both classes I took were on a high level and certainly well worth the time spent. I was afraid that peer grading would feel unfair, but it actually worked very well, and reading other students' assignments absolutely added to my learning. I liked that this course gives an important background on the development as well as recent history of comics (mostly in the United States, but also in Europe), and it focuses in how every page is vital to the process of reading and staying interested in the story. I learned a lot about the pacing of a story, using both visual and textual elements, by analysing (in the assignments), listening (to the video lectures) and reading the thoughts of others (in comics, assignments, and the discussion forums). In a sense, this is a class about visual storytelling, one page at the time. ... And I'm also happy that I know more about the person behind the Bechdel test, and some of her other influences on history.
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Daniela Marino profile image
Daniela Marino profile image
10/10 starsCompleted
  • 1 review
  • 1 completed
5 years, 10 months ago
I had already written two articles about comics and this course added a lot of new information on the subject. I'm happy I got to make it and I also met some friends from the course at an international comics festival that happened in my country. I always tell everybody about Coursera. Hope to enroll more courses.
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Student profile image

Student

10/10 starsCompleted
5 years, 10 months ago
The course is very well thought out and exceptionally well presented, Prof.Kuskin's passion and many layered and depth of knowledge of the subject clearly shines through each lecture. A very well worth course that I would be happy to highly recommend to anyone with even a slight interest in comic books and graphic novels. I would be very keen to sign up again for this course, should it be offered again and would most certainly sign up for a follow up course, should that be offered in the future.
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