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Arcadia Page mentions some tips she teaches her comic art students...

READERSVOICE.COM: Are you still going to do the virtual class for five page four panel manga, and how would you set up something like that?

ARCADIA PAGE: I would still like to do that. Actually, I have everything together for the class. It was almost ready for me to post on Skillshare–I only had one video left, but I changed my mind because I’m just very awkward on video. Along with that, as I do my classes with the kids, I see that I teach the best when I interact with people. Just posting the videos is easier and it takes less time, but I think quality suffers.

Lately I’ve signed into Google Helpouts, and I’m hoping that soon they will have some applications available so I can give it a try. If not that, I’m thinking about setting up something via Skype or Google Hangouts. Of course, making the time for it and seeing how much interest there is in people wanting to take the classes is another issue. There’s a lot to think about, but I really want to do it especially since everything for the class is together already. It just needs to be launched out there.

RV: What are some of the tips you tell students in your story writing classes?

AP: Right now in my classes there is so much to teach about basic drawing that I haven’t gotten deep into the story writing yet. But in the virtual class that exists but doesn’t, there are quite a few helpful tips about coming up with story ideas.

-Be observant of the people around you.
-Reflect on past conflicts and situations in your life.
-Think about what types of manga, novels, and movies you like.

A note about the last point–I think it’s important to closely analyze what kinds of media you like. Figure out what genre you typically enjoy reading and watching because most likely, that will be the easiest one to create a story about. Also I strongly encourage genre mixing. Don’t just do a romance. Do a science-fiction romantic comedy. Genre mixing is a great way to create unique stories without clichés. And if you must have a cliché in your story, either make fun of it or make the result of it totally different from the usual.

– See wingsmanga.blogspot.com for some of Arcadia Page’s comics.

-copyright Simon Sandall