Course Overview

The class is designed to introduce students to the discipline of drawing as it is practiced in comic books, graphic novels, and comic strips. Students will record their observations, experiences and concepts in a sketchbook and then translate these ideas into a sequential narrative. We will explore the elements of storytelling such as style, panel and page composition and the use of color. We will discuss the formal aspects of comics and produce comic pages using this iconic language. The focus of this class will be on clarity of message and the development of a unique voice.

This two-week class will provide a broad range of information on careers in comics and graphic narratives.

This course is part of Summer College Studio Art Academy, an enrichment and community-building program offered through Syracuse University’s School of Art, part of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (VPA). 

Students enrolled in this course, as well as Art and ActivismArt and the Environment, Contemporary Technologies in SculptureGraphic Novel and Visual Storytelling and Painting Studio will all meet virtually on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-1:30 p.m. to take part in group discussions, artist lectures, live virtual field trips, and Open Studio hours.

 All students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Completion and have the opportunity to request a Syracuse University noncredit transcript.


Course Objectives

By the end of this course, students will know how to:

  • Develop a four-page comic with a focus on clarity of message, consistency of image and creation of an individual style.
  • Examine a variety of comic book art and narrative styles.
  • Analyze the variety of the elements that compose a graphic narrative.
  • Become familiar with the language of combining words and pictures.
  • Establish a set of creative work habits to facilitate the ability to tell one’s unique story.

Course Information

Course Prefix and Number: SCN 109

Format: On Campus (at Syracuse University)

Eligibility: Students must be of rising high school sophomore, junior, or senior status – or a 2022 high school graduate. 

Credit: Noncredit

Grading: Pass/Fail


  • Residential: $3,585
  • Commuter: $2,730

Program rates are subject to change and will be approved by the board of trustees. Discounts and scholarships are also available.

Program Information

Summer College – On Campus: Experience what college is really like: take a college-level course, live in a residence hall, have meals with friends in a dining hall, and participate in activities and events on campus.

“I had so much fun at Summer College, especially at a school where I felt at home. Not only was studying my favorite part because of the course a took, but the new friends and professors I had met with and created new bonds.”

– Chris B., Summer College – On Campus Student, 2019.

Course Dates and Details

ProgramCourse DatesClass Time (Eastern Time)Credit/NoncreditStatus
Summer College – On Campus2-Week Session III: Sunday, July 31- Friday, Aug. 12, 2022MTWThF;
9 a.m.-4 p.m.
Students will break for roughly one hour for lunch. Class times subject to change.

Course Requirements

Required Supplies

  • Students should budget for the cost of supplies and textbooks.

Typical Day

Tentative Schedule

Students are required to attend class Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. with a break for lunch. The class typically will be structured as follows:

  • One hour lecture.
  • Break
  • Two hours of focused drawing.
  • Break
  • Critique and group discussion.

When class is over, and on weekends, students can look forward to various Summer College – On Campus activities to meet and connect with other students! Check out our On Campus Experience page for more information!

End Event

Students will produce a mini comic anthology that will be given out at the end of the class.

Faculty Bios

Frank Cammuso- Professor of Illustration at Syracuse University

Frank Cammuso is a Professor of Illustration at Syracuse University. He is also the author/illustrator of over a dozen graphic novels, including the series Edison Beaker Creature Seeker for Viking/Penguin/Random House. He also created the graphic novel series The Misadventures of Salem Hyde from Abrams/Amulet Books and Knights of the Lunch Table from Scholastic/Graphix. Frank co-created the comics Otto’s Orange Day and Otto’s Backwards Day for Toon-Books.

Cammuso is the former award-winning political cartoonist for The Post-Standard newspaper in Syracuse, NY. His cartoons have been reprinted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today and Newsweek. His fiction and satire have appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, and on National Public Radio.

Cammuso is also the Chief Creative Officer for AHOY Comics. He lives in central NY.

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