Start a Comic with VanCAF: A Free, Online, 4-part Workshop Series

Interested in making comics, but don’t know where to start? This workshop series is for you!

In this free, 4 part workshop series, professional cartoonists will guide you through hands-on activities and share different ways to start comics.

All of our workshops welcome participants of every level and take place over Zoom.

Participation is free, but you must register to secure a spot because space is limited. Registration will open two weeks before each workshop date. To register, click on the title of workshop you wish to attend below and register through Eventbrite.

Every workshop has automatic live closed captioning.

Date and TimeWorkshop
Thursday, October 1st, 2020 at 7pm Pacific TimeOutlining a Short Story Comic with Janice Liu
Thursday, October 8th, 2020 at 7pm Pacific TimeBrainstorming Comic Ideas with James Lloyd
Thursday, October 15th, 2020 at 7pm Pacific TimeCreating Visual Metaphor in Comics with Tania De Rozario
Thursday, October 22nd, 2020 at 7pm Pacific TimeStarting your Story! With Ken Steacy

October 1st, 7pm Pacific Time

Outline a Short Story Comic with Janice Liu


Learn to outline a short story comic in this workshop for beginners of all ages! This fast-paced, collaborative workshop will cover the basic principles and considerations of planning out a comic before you begin drawing it. Participants will create short stories based on prompts, and leave the workshop with a finished script breakdown of a 3-4 page comic.

Participants will need:
Something to write with (word processing program, or pen & paper)
Pencil or pen
Scrap paper

About Janice: Janice Liu is a children’s comic creator and the artist of the 2019 graphic novel Chicken Soup & Goji Berries 中藥雞湯. She is the owner of Young Artists’ Place ( in Burnaby, BC, where she teaches art & comics classes for kids. She is also a writing & comics instructor at Place des Arts in Coquitlam.

October 8th, 2020 at 7pm

Brainstorming Comic Ideas with James Lloyd


All comics begin with an idea first, and facing the blank page can be an intimidating prospect when setting forth on a story. In this workshop, we will explore the concept of brainstorming & creation in the moment. This will be a lively & interactive workshop wherein participants will collaborate with the other participants in the “yes and” spirit to quickly expand a simple plot concept into a full comic story.

About James: James Lloyd is a Vancouver cartoonist who has worked both in television and print, but is best known as the regular artist on the Futurama Comics title.Before that break, He cut his teeth in the mean streets of the Vancouver DIY small press scene in the roaring nineties, and began working on local productions in the animation biz, helming layout, storyboard, and design chores. He since has since created comics & covers for the Adventure Time tile from Boom! Comics and contributed to the First Second anthology Above The Dreamless Dead.  In 2016 he began teaching comic lessons as part of Langara College’s Graphic Novel & Comix program and in 2017 he returned to animation on productions like the Adventures Of Rocky & BullwinkleCarmen Sandiego and Cleopatra In Space. He has held presentations and workshops throughout his twenty years plus of drawing professionally in hopes of inspiring those who love comics to pick up pencils and add their voice to the rich history of the medium.

October 15th, 2020 at 7pm Pacific Time

Creating Visual Metaphor in Comics with Tania De Rozario


What does it mean to devour a book, bottle up a feeling or have a broken heart? We often think of metaphors as literary devices but in truth, we use them everyday to help us communicate difficult feelings or abstract ideas. In this workshop, participants will develop visual metaphors that they may consider using as comic-beginnings.

About Tania: Tania De Rozario is a writer and visual artist. She is the author of Tender Delirium, And The Walls Come Crumbling Down, and Somewhere Else, Another You (all published by Math Paper Press). She was the 2011 winner of the Golden Point Award for English Poetry (Singapore) and the 2020 winner of the New Ohio Review Nonfiction contest (USA). Her writing and comics can be found in journals including The Malahat Review, Sow’s Ear Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner Online Journal, Carte Blanche, Softblow and subTerrain Magazine, among others. Her visual art has been showcased in Singapore, London, Moscow, Amsterdam and San Francisco. 

October 22nd, 2020 at 7pm Pacific Time

Starting your Story! with Ken Steacy


What’s the most important part of making comics? Getting started! This intensive workshop by visual storyteller Ken Steacy will kickstart your efforts: topics covered include the three crucial elements required to engage your audience, how to create dramatic tension in your narrative, and how to resolve conflict in a satisfying way. A few sheets of bond paper, pencils or markers are all that’s needed – along with a burning desire to tell the stories only YOU can tell, of course!

About Ken: Ken decided at age eleven to become a professional comic book author/illustrator, a dream he realized in 1974. Since then, he has worked in the industry as writer, artist, art director, editor, and publisher, and in addition to creating his own intellectual property he has chronicled the exploits of Astro Boy, Iron Man, Harry Potter, and the Star Wars gang. 

Ken has also collaborated with other writers, including Douglas Coupland, Harlan Ellison, and Trina Robbins. With author Margaret Atwood he created WAR BEARS, a graphic novel from Dark Horse Comics about the rise and demise of a fictional Canadian comic-book publisher during WWII.

The recipient of an Eisner and an Inkpot award, in 2009 Ken was inducted into the Joe Shuster Canadian Comic Book Hall of Fame, a lifetime achievement award for contributions to the industry. He currently teaches Comics & Graphic Novels, a visual storytelling program he co-created with his wife, author/illustrator Joan Steacy, at Camosun College in Victoria, BC.