Open-Genre | Master Class

1-Day Open-Genre Master Class: The Art of the Cartoon

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Catapult's three favorite New Yorker cartoonists are back again to take your cartooning to the next level. In this one day workshop, you’ll refine your techniques for pairing word and image with brevity and wit to create simple and meaningful single-panel cartoons. After a brief review of cartooning basics, we will dive deeper into special topics like creating voice in cartoons, evoking a whole word with one panel, analyzing the power dynamics within your scenes, and using humor as a weapon. You will also learn and practice best methods for drawing and composition, and—for those looking to start or augment careers in cartooning and visual storytelling—you'll receive guidance for professionalizing your practice.

We welcome cartoonists at all levels, including writers and artists interested in cartoons as a means to unlocking potential in their other creative endeavors. The only requirement is that you send a "batch" of your work ahead of time (5-10 cartoons). The course will feature an in-depth workshop of your submission and other work you bring to class, with ample direct feedback from the instructors.


- Refine various techniques for generating truly funny and insightful cartoons

- Learn how to riff on clichés rather than recycle them, and how to analyze power dynamics in your scenes in order to more directly aim the target of your humor

- Hone your unique perspective in cartooning, and learn to channel your specific observations and comments about your world into a distinct visual and verbal voice

- Through feedback and gentle critique from the instructors, you will learn a process for editing and refining your cartoons, as well as next steps for submitting work to publications like The New Yorker

- Access to Catapult's list of writing opportunities and important submission deadlines, as well as a 10% discount on all future Catapult classes

Guest instructor Jason Adam Katzenstein is a cartoonist and writer for print and television. His work has appeared in The New Yorker and MAD Magazine, and on Cartoon Network. He is the illustrator of the graphic novel Camp Midnight for Image Comics, with writer Steven T. Seagle. He was a visiting professor at Wesleyan University.

Guest instructor Ellis Rosen is a cartoonist and illustrator living in Brooklyn, NY. His work has appeared in The New Yorker and The Paris Review. He is the illustrator of a children's chapter book, Woundabout, from Little Brown, and a contributor to the Eisner-nominated graphic anthology Yiddishkeit: Jewish Vernacular and the New Land.  

Amy Kurzweil

Amy Kurzweil is a New Yorker cartoonist and the author of Flying Couch: a graphic memoir (a New York Times Editor's Choice and a Kirkus Best Memoir of 2016). Her writing, comics, and cartoons have also appeared in The Believer Magazine, Longreads, Lenny Letter, The Awl, The Toast, Catapult, and many other places. She teaches comics at The Fashion Institute of Technology and elsewhere. She lives in Brooklyn.


"The class exceeded my expectations. Amy, Ellis and Jason were amazing. The content was stimulating and the exercises were really engaging. I walked into the course thinking I would just sit and observe, but I was surprised that I walked away with a few rough cartoons that I'm proud of. The course not only provided a great foundation that I can build upon, but it also gave me a much-needed shot of creative confidence. "

former student

“Amy was truly one of the best teachers I've ever had. One thing I'll remember is how well she was able to communicate and breakdown concepts. She taught us to look even closer at language and illustration.”

former student

“My relationship to writing and drawing has changed significantly. I am now able to better express myself through words and use symbolism in my visuals to convey a message.”

former student

“Amy’s class became a really comfortable place to share stories without fearing judgment.”

former student