Studs Terkel “Working” Graphic Novel

Listen to npr story. Discuss how Studs Terkel gets folks to talk about themselves. What does it take to create an environment where a person is comfortable to share about themselves?

He is Remembered:Studs Terkel

Studs on a Soapbox

ChrisWalkerAP460 92cbeb6709a0f0a0c71d1110.L

Nick Salerno, garbageman
Nick Salerno, garbageman

Nick Lindsay, carpenter (son of Vachel Lindsay)
Nick Lindsay, carpenter (son of Vachel Lindsay)

David Reed Glover, broker
David Reed Glover, broker

Maggie Holmes, domestic
Maggie Holmes, domestic


Assignment #1   Students will be placed in groups of two. Each person will interview  their fellow classmate by asking them the following questions:

  • What are you? 
  • How do you think others see you? What don’t they see? 
  • What advice would you give to a stranger? 
  • What is your favorite word? 
  • Describe an incident that changed you. 
  • How have you been affected by race?

Be sure to listen to each other. Encourage your partner to speak without interrupting them or suggesting anything. Write down their responses – word for word – be sure to include dialogue (best you can remember) and descriptive language.  Take time. Edit for the important things. Student teams should work together to decide which phrase is most interesting and will best depicted in the graphic novel.

Assignment #2   Look through the work of Lynda Barry, “100 Demons”.

After completing the interview and determining the dialogue to depict, complete several small layout sketches (in your sketchbook) to determine the best layout – one image with description (above or below the image) if needed with the dialogue collected during the interview.

Gather all visual reference materials needed to create the images. Take photographs to clarify the “pose”/position/stance of the person you need to use for reference. Rewrite the text to read best and fit space provided.

On paper provided lightly (H) draw out everything. Keep a 1/2” border on all sides.

Calligraphy practice: Using the calligraphy brush practice writing the alphabet in your sketchbook on several prepared pages (ruled in lines). Look through the work of  Lynda Barry.

Gouache color: Fill in the color areas first. Finish page with black outline using the calligraphy brush. The goal is to create thick and thin controlled line throughout.

Create a page – one image with description and dialogue.




Leave a Reply