Enrolling Now for May 20, 2019 Launch!

Emily Flake (that's "e flake" to you) will be teaching everything she knows about the single-panel, New Yorker-style gag cartoon.

Take a journey with Emily as she leads you through three stages of Idea Generation, Thumbnailing, Acting and Casting (say what?), Composition, Inks, Grays, and Finishing!

You'll see behind the scenes sketches and notes, and Ms. Flake will take you on a tour of her favorite historical cartoons as well. If you're good she'll do some of this as ASMR.

Some more notes from Ms. Flake:

WHY GAG CARTOONS?

This is a valid question, and an important one. Why, in this day and age, would a person want to master the art of gag cartooning? The market is not great – only a handful of magazines buy gags, and competitions – especially for a spot in the New Yorker – is fierce. Memes fulfill a lot of the collective hunger for the quick visual jokes. Graphic work – be it journalism, memoir, what have you – has been enjoying a renaissance for years, but gag cartooning has not necessarily been the beneficiary of that uptick in interest.


So that’s the gloomy side of the street.


But let’s take a look at the sunny side.

A good gag cartoon is a perfect little nugget of comedy. And learning to craft a good single-panel gag cartoon gives you a skill set that can be applied to many other disciplines - joke-craft, brevity, pacing, drawing, you name it. And perhaps the most important thing of all – the production of gag cartoons requires a ruthless eye, and a willingness to let go of preciousness about your own work. It is my hope that the practices and techniques introduced in this course will prove valuable not just for gags, but in all other aspects of your creative life. Let’s get started!


Course curriculum

FAQ

  • When is this launching?

    Soon! Watch this space, or sign up for the free trial to not miss out.

  • Is it a live structured course or can I join any time?

    It is a 6-week course with interaction from all students at the same time in a private group on our MIGHTY NETWORK , with input from Ms. Flake. The course structure is as follows: Week 1 : Introduction and Idea Generation 1 Week 2: Idea Generation 2 Week 3: Thumbnailing Week 4: Acting and Casting Week 5: All About Ink Week 6: Sketch to Finish

  • Will Ms. Flake look at my cartoons?

    Yes she will see your cartoons and give you a really eviscerating but clear-headed critique in the community group.

  • Is there a free trial?

    The first week of exercises and material will be part of a free trial, yes!

6-Week Intensive with Community Working Group

This is one of our most prestige courses and we are honored to present it to you.

Testimonials

  • Ayal Pinkus

    “I had a ton of fun on this course, and I learned a lot, and I am really, really happy with the cartoons that came out of it! Among the many things that were totally and completely new to me were the idea of starting with a character, an emotion an...”

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    “I had a ton of fun on this course, and I learned a lot, and I am really, really happy with the cartoons that came out of it! Among the many things that were totally and completely new to me were the idea of starting with a character, an emotion and a place to generate ideas, and the way you design a composition, guiding the eye so that it delivers the punchline effectively. As for feedback on how to improve this course: I think this is more than enough material for two courses actually, twelve weeks or so maybe. It felt a bit compact, the last lesson for example discussing penciling AND inking in one go. At the beginning, the course basically gave as assignments to do a brainstorm, and to do thumbnails. I had done these before and so I understood the idea behind these, but these concepts may be new to some people who join this course. I think some guidance and hand-holding when it comes to these techniques may help some course participants. I didn't see many people make more than one thumbnail for each cartoon for example, which is the idea behind thumb-nailing I believe: quickly trying different compositions, changing or pushing the composition at each iteration. This is probably so ingrained into your process that you perhaps don't realize that some people don't know that's what you're supposed to do. But those are very small and unimportant details. Really, this was a tremendous course and I learned so much! SAW has really great courses! Emily, thank you so much! ”

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  • Maggie Maxwell

    “Emily Flake's class was wonderful! I found Emily's lessons to be incredibly well-thought out and clearly executed. I always knew what the lesson was, why the lesson was, and strategies of how I could go about completing the assignment that would t...”

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    “Emily Flake's class was wonderful! I found Emily's lessons to be incredibly well-thought out and clearly executed. I always knew what the lesson was, why the lesson was, and strategies of how I could go about completing the assignment that would then reinforce that lesson. She provided really wonderful examples to help even more clearly illustrate the intention of the lessons, and I felt that each week really built upon one another in a natural way. I was challenged, certainly, by the volume of work at times, but I think that was more on me and my propensity to be too precious about things- which, of course the class helped me with as well. I feel not only better about that now (though I still need to work on this!) but also my drawing, casting, and for sure ink and brush skills (previously I'd been pretty scared to work with ink and now, I'm not!). Emily is a great teacher--which goes beyond her being a wonderful cartoonist which she most certainly is. But being able to teach others something is a whole 'nother venture, and she's similarly capable at this too! She is also very fun and engaging in her presentation style, as well as of course incredibly informative, and always very encouraging and helpful in her feedback. I would highly recommend Emily's class!”

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  • Emily Flake

    Your Instructor:

    Hi there. I'm Emily. I'm a cartoonist and illustrator. I live in Brooklyn, NY, with my husband, our daughter, and a small orange cat. My illustration work has been in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Globe and Mail, Newsweek, and lots and lots of other places. I make cartoons for The New Yorker, mostly, but also sometimes MAD Magazine, the New Statesman, and other places. I have a weekly strip called Lulu Eightball that carries the jokes that are too vulgar for grown-up publications and too racy for MAD. I wrote and drew a book called These Things Ain't Gonna Smoke Themselves (Bloomsbury USA). I am currently at work on a book of cartoons and essays called Mama Tried. It is about parenting and will be published by Grand Central Publishing.I also perform, using the magic of PowerPoint and/or markers, for adults and children.

    See Emily Flake at the New Yorker Cartoon Bank


    Emily Flake

    Cartoonist

Learn the secrets of making funny gag cartoons from a world-class expert.

Now's your chance!

Teach me the secrets!