Comics are one of the most powerful tools we have for sharing stories. Ira’s DRAWING COMICS program is filled with colorful visual lessons that invite students into the exciting world of comics and show them the skills needed to create comics that connect readers with their stories.

As a working comic artist, I’ve had a wide array of experiences with the art form. I’ve used comics to tell stories in fiction and non-fiction, as entertainment and educational material. I’ve self-published my own fantasy comics, created educational comics for middle schoolers in the capital region, and recently worked with the European Research Council on a comic about “the internet of things.” You can see all this work on my website:


Ira Marcks – Drawing Comics: A Beginner’s Guide to Sequential Art and Story




Middle school, High school


Comics, Graphic Novels, Creative Writing, Storytelling, Visual Arts


ELA, Comics, Graphic Novels, Storytelling, Visual Arts


$1500.00 for a full-day program. Multiple day rates are available upon request.
Travel costs are calculated at .58/mile starting in downtown Troy, NY.

Dates Available

All year.

Program Theme

Led by graphic novelist Ira Marcks, DRAWING COMICS is an inspiring workshop that invites students into the exciting world of graphic novels and comics. Through Ira’s energetic teaching and artful presentations, students will learn the skills needed to create their own comics and find a deeper appreciation for the graphic novels they already love.

Ira Marcks creates comics for young readers from his studio in Upstate New York. His book Shark Summer is recommended by the New York Times, American Library Association, and Junior Library Guild. He has worked with a wide range of clients including the Hugo Award-winning horror/fantasy magazine Weird Tales, GitHub, and the European Research Council. Over 85,000 students have subscribed to his art courses on the learning platform, Skillshare. Visit for more details.

Program Description

Ira offers two distinct workshop sessions that can be used together to build a full day of programming. He recommends opening the day with the ‘Telling Stories’ session in a cafe/gym where all participants can meet and work with Ira, then scheduling the ‘Drawing Faces’ sessions for small groups throughout the rest of day. Lunch times can be used for book signing and a casual cartooning session for interested students.

Telling Stories with Comics (60 minutes): A crash course in creating graphic novels and comics. This session begins as an author talk and transitions into a participatory comics project. Students will learn about the stages of Ira’s creative process based on three essential elements of storytelling – characters, setting, and theme. By the end of the session, students will have used Ira’s guidance to plan and create their own three panel comic strip. The session requires a projector, microphone, table space for the students to draw, a pencil for each student, and two sheets of 8.5×11 paper for each student.

Drawing Faces and Expressions (45 minutes): A more focused session exploring how cartoonists design believable characters. Students will learn Ira’s step by step process for designing a cartoon face, followed by an insightful look at the role of character facial expressions in comic storytelling. During the lesson the student will follow along by practicing the basics of cartoon face design and then learn to bring the character to life using expressions. While still suitable for beginners, this session is more technically challenging and is a great opportunity to put Ira in a classroom setting, allowing him to work individually with students. The session requires a projector, table space for the students to draw, a pencil for each student, and at least two sheets of 11×14 paper for each student. Ira will provide his ‘Drawing Faces’ handout and other drawing supplies.


“Ira’s passion for cartooning has propelled his workshops to become one of our most popular Arts in Education programs.” – Kim Wegner, Lead Coordinator for Innovative Programs, WSWHE BOCES

“Ira is that rare breed of artist who seamlessly blends his creative side and a seemingly effortless ability to lead and teach. He brings a welcoming, open and enthusiastic approach to arts education and creativity is sparked under his leadership.” – Carolyn Fagan, Programming Director, Troy Public Library

“Ira is great at working to ensure that his curriculum can be carried over into the classroom and leaves you with the materials needed to be successful. I know he will be a welcomed addition to any school enrichment program.” – Sherry Dorrer 5th Grade Teacher, Dorothy Nolan Elementary




28 Eagle Street
Troy NY 12180

Associated Acts/Performances


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