I wanted to attend my second “Guión” class at the EAH (Escuela Argentina de la Historieta) before writing my impressions of the school. The EAH, like many other artsy schools in Buenos Aires, is located in San Telmo, a neighborhood characterized by struggling, impoverished artists and international tourism. The class is taught by a film/comic book studies professor and has about ten people in it. Most of the comics we use as examples are mainstream (Watchmen, Sin City), while famous Argentine comics aren’t discussed at all. Ah, well. I guess if I am going to experience the Argentine comic culture, I must be open to learning about all parts of it.
As a class, “Guión” is a good introduction to analyzing and writing basic stories, although we are learning at a relaxed pace. The first week focused on synopsis and the second on character creation. During the first week when we discussed our interest in the class, most people said that they took the course because they had created stories that they wanted to realize in comic form. Most of these students’ ideas (from what I can tell) are for long epics. Because of this, they seem to be frustrated by the emphasis on short, simple stories and want to learn how to create their masterpieces. One of the most important things my professor said on this topic is that you shouldn’t take big stories and squish them down into little ones. A good idea that you’ve had for a few years can wait a few more until you learn how to write. He asked us, “Do you think Watchmen would have been good if Alan Moore wrote it when he was 16?”
In terms of homework, we apply what we learned during the class to a personal project. Our first project was to come up with a story. While other people in my class created alternate universes and detective adventures, I wrote about a woman that wants to buy a Furby for her daughter. I probably have the most boring and unoriginal story and am stuck with it for the entire semester. Blergh. Maybe it will be a test of skill to see how awesome I can make it.