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First meeting of the Akin Collective D.I.Y. Comics School !

  • Akin St Clair 1747 Saint Clair Avenue West Toronto, ON, M6N 1J4 Canada (map)

You are invited to the first meeting of the Akin Collective D.I.Y. Comics School!

If you are interested in continuing your education and development as a cartoonist and in helping others do the same, please come out and join us Monday, July 2nd, from 7pm to 9:30ish at the Akin St. Clair Studio in the “Don’s Meats” building at 1747 St. Clair Avenue West.

If you’d like a clearer picture of what to expect, I’ve written up a rough schedule for this first meeting. Things might not go exactly as planned (there may not be enough time for one thing) but it should give you a rough idea. However, this is simply a starting point. Moving forward, the idea is to let things shift and change to become what the group as a whole wants it to be. At this first meeting, I’d like to spend some time specifically brainstorming, and making decisions about how to shape things in the future. It’s all an experiment!

1) Introductions, and overview of the day.

2) Conversation about what everyone is hoping to get out of this “school,” and, hopefully, how to get it.

3) A short “show & tell” where we can share specific craft-related things we are currently excited about. For example, a really powerful transition between panels or a formal trick in a comic you’ve been reading (or making).

4) Figure out who will be coming up with/leading exercises (or whatever) during next month’s meeting. This can be anything. We can can go out and do gesture drawing on Bloor, do figure drawing, someone could give a lecture about coloring in photoshop or with watercolor, or a lesson on comics history, we could do an intense timed writing exercise. Anything! 

Any ideas can also be added to our “Idea Archive” google doc (

5) Visual vocabulary building warm-up exercise. Each person divides a blank sheets of paper into a grid, writes a basic ‘thing’ at the top (tweezers, cop, jungle tree, foliage, a punk, wood-pecker, etc), and then draws the ‘thing’ in the first one or two boxes of the grid. Then they pass the page to the next person and draw whatever is labeled on the sheet passed to them. The idea is to both investigate our own internal symbol-system/pictorial handwriting, and expand it by observing and learning from others. We will probably only fill in the first few boxes this session, and leave the rest for later.

6) Memory Sigil one(ish) page comic. This is an exercise I more or less stole from a workshop Connor Willumsen ran last SPX. Basically, we’ll be taking a memory and putting it into comic form, with what and /how/ we are drawing things being directed by our internal experience (as opposed to the external plot-like flow of events). 

7) Critique time! Bring a couple of pages (or upload and post longer stuff to the facebook group) if you would like feedback. I like the idea of asking for feedback on specific aspects of work. Visual clarity, speech bubble reading order, etc.

8)The End

Hope to see you there!

Entrance to the studio is off of the parking lot, and located near the back of the building on the west side. It’s a giant door, and it will be open at the start of the meeting, but then closed, so if you come late, knock loud! 

This building is partially accessible. The space is ground- level throughout. There are two entrances to the space, we encourage guests to use the side-door entrance. There is one step at the front door entrance and no steps at the side door entrance. There is one all genders bathroom. There is one step to get to the bathroom. There is no alternative bathroom or alternative route to the bathroom. The bathroom door is 30 inches wide. There are no grab bars in the washroom and the toilets are not raised. Akin St. Clair Studios regrets any barrier to access.

Getting there by TTC:
Akin St Clair Studios is accessible on the 512 St. Clair Streetcar Line and by bus, take either Bus 168 from Dundas West Station, or Bus 127 Spadina Station to Keele and St. Clair.

There is a private parking lot to the west of the building. It is likely that one will find a parking spot there. If not there is residential parking on Houndslowheath Road and other residential streets in the area.