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Cartooning Folklore & Family History With Zawadi Noël

October 18 @ 12:00 pm - December 13 @ 2:00 pm

In this eight-week workshop, you’ll learn the elements of cartooning while crafting a visual narrative born from family history and lore.


Each of us has a unique story or two to tell. Some of these stories have been passed down from limb to limb of our family trees, while others emerge from lived experience; others are born from a blend of history and imagination. In this eight-week course with cartoonist and educator Zawadi Noël, you’ll learn how to illustrate these narratives in a series of panels—from family history to personal journeys, combined with a bit of mythology—as a means of inviting others deeper into our own worlds. We’ll explore a range of drawing techniques, visual problem solving, and practice composing images from session to session. At the end of this course, you’ll have a strong understanding of the elements of visual storytelling, as well as a complete illustrated narrative of your own to share.

No prior cartooning experience necessary.


There are eight total sessions included in this purchase, each lasting for two hours on eight Sundays beginning October 18 (skipping Sunday, November 29).

Session 1 (Sunday, 10/18, 12–2 PM ET): Exploring story 

Session 2 (Sunday, 10/25, 12–2 PM ET): Elements of the visual narrative

Session 3 (Sunday, 11/1, 12–2 PM ET): Creating characters

Session 4 (Sunday, 11/8, 12–2 PM ET): Creating voice

Session 5 (Sunday, 11/15, 12–2 ET): Creating space and setting

Session 6 (Sunday, 11/22, 12–2 PM ET): Creating drama

(Week off—no class on Sunday, 11/29)

Session 7 (Sunday, 12/6, 12–2 PM ET): Workshop + revision

Session 8 (Sunday, 12/13, 12–2 PM ET): Sharing our stories


This is an interactive, small-group, seminar-style course that will meet on Sundays over Zoom. Students will be invited to participate in discussions, workshop their projects, and receive feedback from the course instructor.

Students will be assigned short, weekly cartooning assignments exploring character, setting, and storytelling, amounting to no more than two hours of work outside of class each week. The comic panels you create from these assignments will be incorporated into a larger comic you’ll create by the end of the course.

Once registered, you can access the Zoom room for this experience through your confirmation email or Eventbrite account.


Zawadi Noël is a cartoonist, illustrator, and educator with 18 years of experience in the field. Since receiving a degree in cartooning from The School of Visual Arts, he has taught art to all age groups, and has created artwork for clients such as Marvel and Disney. Zawadi’s main focus is personal visual narrative. Through his company, MyHeroComics, Zawadi has illustrated comics for individuals to honor and celebrate loved ones.


This online course is offered by Atlas Obscura. Founded in 2009, Atlas Obscura created the definitive, community-driven guide to the most incredible places on the planet and is now an award-winning travel company that shares the world’s hidden wonders in person and online.

Our online courses offer opportunities for participants to emerge with new skills, knowledge, connections, and perspectives through multi-session classes designed and taught by expert instructors. Courses can take one of two forms: Seminars are intimate, interactive classes—capped at nine to 20 students—exploring topics and crafts through discussion, workshops, assignments, and in-class activities. We also offer lecture series that can be attended live, or viewed a time that works for you for up to one week after they’ve aired.

To learn more about our current course offerings, please visit www.atlasobscura.com/online-courses.