Assignment 3

Assignment 3 A mini graphic novel

Choose a short story and turn it into a mini graphic novel.  Demonstrate the process, show 3 example pages and the cover.

What did you learn from the experience?  How have my illustrations developed to accommodate the demands of the narrative?

Short story – own idea

A blackbird is looking for food and discovers a worm poking his head out of the ground but finds that this worm is not going to go easily.  The worm is a bookworm and so he has read about using the forces of physics to deter his foe.

He allows the bird to try and steal him but anchors his wormy body to allow for a stretch to occur and at the right moment he lets go he snaps like an elastic band and knocks the blackbird.  He then flips and dives back into the safety of his worm library.

Aim – humour with a message – books are good for you, and you can learn different things for different situations.  Knowledge is power.

  • Target audience – young children 2-6 years old.
  • *No dialogue, strength in the image and the actions rather than depending on the dialogue.

* open to reviewing this but initial idea had no speaking in it.

The image above is the first draft on A4 using thumbnails as reference.  A variety of edits were done on some of the panels as the action didn’t flow and the angle wasn’t correct.  Once I was satisfied with the flow and layout, the images were made stronger using a polychromos brown pencil. 

From this point I had intended to lightbox all the pages and then scan in the inks for colouring in Procreate.  I felt that a strong black line was important to have so that any colours used would compliment it.

However, this is where analysis paralysis set in, I got overwhelmed by the possibilities and found it very difficult to move forward on it.  I realised at this point that I hadn’t attached any mood boards to my project, so had no real sense on what type of imagery I wanted to produce.

Did I want a clean finish with bright colours?  Did I want a watercolour finish?  Did I want to paint the images in and use mixed media paper?  These were a variety of decisions that should have been made before the pencils had been put down, and somewhere along the way I’d completely forgotten to do it.

So I retraced my steps, examined the type of imagery that I felt I had wanted to go for with this project and then slowly began to repeat the steps up to the thumbnails and pages.  The layouts were definitely fine for me at this point so it was mostly about the decisions for the style of comic that I was getting bogged down with.

I then also realised, that the comic could easily be expressed as a picture book, and that perhaps the content was better suited for that.  However, the story could be adapted for both uses, with a comic being more graphic and comical, and the picture book using more textures and collage.

With that reasoning in mind, I scanned in the pages into Procreate and proceeded to test out colour palettes and inking methods.  I tried using pencil over the image first, which was a lovely texture but not quite bold enough.  I tried using a brush pen and this seemed to give a stronger effect which was more graphic and tied into my comic style.

From there I inked up all the pages, added layers of colour for effect and then trimmed off the rough edges by having layers of panels as a clipping mask.  The end result was a bright comic that felt interesting and had a flow to it and there was humour present.

There was no script originally, but some thought bubbles were added to help with the flow of the story.  I may review this decision and add some sound effects.  In my picture book version, there is a narrative running alongside it, so text would be on the left and the images on the right.  I didn’t have time on this occasion to draft up what that would look like, but I’ll revisit it and see how it looks when I have more time to do so.