Leela Corman

Critic - Illustration

Leela Corman is a painter, educator, illustrator and graphic novel creator. She creates entirely hand-painted comics and graphic novels in watercolor, gouache and acrylics and works primarily with Polish-Jewish history and life, in both her fiction and nonfiction comics, as well as women’s history, 20th-century New York history, trauma, loss and (occasionally) music. She is currently finishing the second book in her New York trilogy Victory Parade, a graphic novel about women working in the Brooklyn Navy Yard during the Second World War, a Jewish refugee turned amateur women’s wrestling champ, and the astral plane over Buchenwald.
Corman’s short-form comics have appeared in The Believer Magazine, Tablet Magazine, Nautilus and The Nib. She has worked as an illustrator for 20 years, creating editorial illustrations for The New York Times, NYPress, BUST Magazine, books on subjects ranging from urban gardening to fashion history, album art for The Mountain Goats, and tour poster art for Neko Case, Thalia Zedek Band and Live Skull. She is a founding instructor at Sequential Artists Workshop, a freestanding school for comics and graphic novels based in Gainesville, FL. Past books include the graphic novel Unterzakhn (Schocken-Pantheon, 2012) and the short comics collection We All Wish for Deadly Force (Retrofit/Big Plant, 2016).
Her teaching philosophy centers the direct physical experience of making art by hand with unpredictable physical materials and the use of storytelling practices to arrive at powerful images. It is in practice, rather than theory, that we find ourselves as artists. She is most interested in, as the artist William Kentridge says, “understanding the world as process rather than as fact.” Her approach is grounded in a broad view of art history and cultural production as applied to illustration and comics.

Fall 2022

  • ILLUS-2000-03 Visual Thinking

Spring 2023

  • ILLUS-2004-06 Visual Strategies
  • NMSE-8900-26 ISP Non-major Elective