Join Rob Clough for 7 weeks of live learning via zoom

At A Glance

When: For 7 weeks starting Tuesday March 12 at 7pm to 9pm Eastern

Where: Online via Zoom

Level: All experience and interests welcome

Cost: $299

Materials: All required reading supplied

In Detail

Seven live 2 hour sessions

Starting Tuesday March 12, 2024.

  • Week 1 - Tuesday March 12, 7 - 9 pm Eastern
  • Week 2 - Tuesday March 19, 7 - 9 pm Eastern
  • Week 3 - Tuesday March 26, 7 - 9 pm Eastern
  • Week 4 - Tuesday April 2, 7 - 9 pm Eastern
  • Week 5 - Tuesday April 9, 7 - 9 pm Eastern
  • Week 6 - Tuesday April 16, 7 - 9 pm Eastern
  • Week 7 - Tuesday April 23, 7 - 9 pm Eastern

Calls will include live lectures with Rob and live discussion time.

An additional Mighty Network component is included for asynchronous dialogue for this course.  Class videos, audios, chats, transcripts will be saved and archived there as well for the duration of the course and 4 weeks afterwards.

Comics is an art form, not a genre.

The combination of words and  images can tell any kind of story, from intimately personal autobiography to incisive journalism to high fantasy. Many people tend to think of the history of comics as being one and the same as the history of super-hero comic books. However, the history of comics goes much wider  and deeper than just one genre. 

In The Hidden History Of Comics, each week we will look at  the development of comics through a different lens and ask how and why one genre became  so dominant. We will look at the history of comics distribution and how it affected who could  have access to comics. We will examine the parallel history of queer and straight  underground comics. We will look at comics' place in the zine revolution of the '80s and '90s  and the continuing importance of self-publishing. Some of the topics we will explore include:  the rise of comics aimed at children, the gendering of comics, the near exclusion of girls'  comics, the role of political and journalistic comics, the importance of memoir comics, and the  role of formal innovation in changing our understanding of what comics can be. 

Rob will provide ample images and samples for the class, as well as a suggested  reading list for each week. The aim is to allow the class to discover not only the rich  tapestry of diverse possibilities present in today's comics scene but also how this was true,  yet hidden, for much of the art form's history. 

Course Structure: 

The entire purpose of the course is to question existing structures and  evolving structures with regard to comics publishing and distribution. As such, there will be  discussion periods built into class time for students to reflect and react to each lecture, as well as react to supplementary material.  

Each week will begin with a brief reaction to assigned supplementary material from the  previous week, then an ~30 minute lecture, then a discussion period, then a break, then a  second 30 minute lecture, and then a second discussion period. 


Comics are expensive and the purpose of this course is not close readings of  particular texts. Each lecture will include images to give you a flavor of the subject matter, and students will have access to them after each lecture so that they may discuss them more later. Supplementary readings will be provided each time, with time to discuss them in class. 

Please feel free to purchase or borrow from your libraries  any or all of them, but it will not be required to enjoy and understand the course itself. 

Note: this class is based on the 'Hidden History of Comics' unit built into the SAW Comics Certificate program (one of nine stand alone units built to give folks the skills and comics to participate in contemporary comics making). 

Class size is limited! Sign up today!

  • $299.00

    20% Discount available for existing SAW members (search in FLOW + PUBLISH, Graphic Memoir + Medicine, or Alumni group)

    I can pay this!

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About the Instructor

I'm a full-time writer available for hire in any number of fields. I have a feisty young kiddo who is my test subject for all the kids' comics I receive. I will happily review any comics sent to me. I especially like to review minicomics. Contact me at [email protected] for more info or send your comics to: My address is: 815 B West Markham Ave Durham, NC 27701

Rob Clough