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Short Course
Character Development for Graphic Novels
A need was identified in the market for a short course on how to create own graphic novels and comic books that can provide participants with the basic skills and knowledge to create characters for these alternative visual literature formats.

Purpose of the course:

After succesful completion of this Short Course participants will have the skills required to produce characters for graphic novels, and ultimately how to go about conceptually planning and developing multiple characters within original storylines and how to go about to practically carry out a graphic novel project.

Admission requirements:

Admission requirements: 
Learning assumed to be in place: 
Basic drawing skills

Course outcomes and assessment criteria :

Course outcomes and the associated assessment criteria: 

Study Unit


Assessment Criteria

  After completion of this course, participants will: Participant will be assessed on the following criteria:
  • The ability to show an informed understanding of the key concepts, principles, rules and theories of graphic storytelling forms such as graphic novels and comic books with specific focus on the character development within these formats;
  • The ability to select and apply the appropriate standard methods, procedures and/or techniques as the situation requires by choosing appropriate tools for the task and using it with well-informed and trained skills;
  • The ability to identify, evaluate and solve routine problems as well as new problems in the context of graphic storytelling

For outcome 1:

Paricipants must be able to define key concepts of graphic storytelling; discuss and apply standard principles and rules relating to graphic storytelling practices; distinguish and critically explain different theories relating to various graphic storytelling formats, and have gained particular insight how these relate to character development within these formats.

For outcome 2:

Participants must be able to discuss, distinguish and implement appropriate standard methods, procedures and techniques in different contexts with a view to effectively use all the available tools to create storyboards, to process their artworks digitally, and to produce final works of graphic art.

For outcome 3:

Participants must be able to use the knowledge they have mastered in order to solve different contextual problems as will be experienced with the selection of compositions and layout structures, the selection of perspective angles, dialogue formats, and the selection of various media options


It should be noted that participants are obliged to attend at least 70% of the contact classes to successfully pass the course. Furthermore, a participant must attain an average mark of 50% for all the relevant assessments in order to pass the course. Assessment will be supervised and conducted by the course presenter (see a method of assessment for the breakdown of assessment). Any statement (“transcript”, letter of attendance, receipt, or any other document bearing an NWU emblem) must be treated in the same manner as a certificate – i.e. issued ONLY via the approved NWU system/route/protocol. The final assessments of this short course are to be moderated
Method of assessment: 
Assessment will be carried out in the form of two class assignments (one-third of final mark) and one graphic novel two-page spread as final project (two thirds of final mark)

Additional information

Mode of delivery: 
Target group: 
Working adults, local businesses and full-time students at NWU Potchefstroom campus.
Contact us
Me Lindi Cameron
Telephone number: 
018 299 4094