Course Announcements



Spring CE classes are enrolling now at SVA:

My new online course, Short Form Comics, starts on January 25 and meets on Tuesdays:

Any story, however sprawling it may seem, can be told in six or fewer comic panels. In this course, students will employ a full bag of tricks – expressive figure drawing, dynamic composition, stagecraft, verbal concision, and narrative condensation – to create comic short stories of maximum impact. Challenges will include diary comics, nonfiction rants, adaptations and deformations of poetry and literature, visual metaphors, writing from logic & structure, and other techniques for coaxing personal truth from the back of your head onto the paper. Cartooning is primarily a writer’s medium. This course stresses the writerly side of the process. All students with active registration in this course will be given free access to the Adobe Creative Cloud.

I’m also offering Figure Drawing for Cartoonists on Wednesdays, live in Manhattan, and Cartooning Basics live on Thursdays and online on Fridays.

Learn more at our Daredoodle session, January 13.

Aaaaand, I’ll be teaching kids, grades 3 to 5, online on Saturdays for Parsons Academy beginning January 29, 11:00 am to 2:00 pm EST.

Come cartoon with me! Tell your friends!


“I attended your comic book drawing class many, many years ago. I was just a shy 11-year-old budding artist with an intense interest in being a comic book artist, but until that point was totally self-taught. That class and your instruction was a real game-changer for me. I can’t begin to describe how influential you were in my early development as a visual storyteller. After I completed your course, the flickering flame of storytelling inside me became a bonfire. I went on to study at SVA-NY before moving out to LA to become a storyboard artist. I’m now well into that career and have achieved a lot of success in that arena, even going on to direct a Netflix original movie. Anyway…I think about that class and how influential you were to me all the time. You really made an impact on my life.”

Federico D’Allessandro, lead storyboard artist, Marvel Studios

“…I took your class and found it fundamentally reoriented my approach to comics drawing. Just your summation of the PURPOSE of inking (it tells the reader how to read) turned my thinking about the page on its head. I am still digging through your class handouts on a regular basis and, on your sage advice, going to weekly life drawing sessions— the lone ink-toting artist in the room!  Tom Motley! You taught a great class that really helped me.”

A. K. Summers, author of the graphic novel, Pregnant Butch

“Tom Motley has got a great comics mind in addition to his inking proficiency, and is an amazing resource to have. I don’t think I’d ever have developed the amount that I had without his insights when I was starting to take comics seriously.”

Mattie Lubchansky,  the Nib.

“If I hadn’t taken your cartooning classes this year, I wouldn’t have been able to create my final project for the visual narrative semester (my digital short story). I’m not exaggerating. These past two semesters have been an incredibly rewarding experience for me: stimulating, challenging, illuminating and gratifying. Your insight, openness and generosity with feedback gave me so many ways to approach drawing, to make drawings better and to have fun in the process. Thank you!”

Laura Brown, SVA MFA candidate

“Excellent teacher, totally worth my tuition bill.”

— Anonymous undergraduate student, spring 2021


More student samples and discussion can be seen here

Please let me know if you have questions. 

Instructional Handouts

Tips for Drawing Characters


Parts of a Comic Page


the process part1


the process part2





T. Motley