comic strips quidelines. comic strips “… eye candy, or food for thought?”
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Comic strips eye candy, or food for thought?
COMIC STRIPSStorytelling CreativitySelf expressionProblem solvingSequencingArtistic skillsComputer skillsDecision makingDEFINITIONA comic strip is a common form of comics(a general term to also include editorial or gag cartoons and comic books or graphic novels).
The term graphic novel is now established for the longer and more novel-like coherent story, and the term sequential art is also suggested by Will Eisner .
FORM & USEIt is a medium which combines text and visual information It has the form of a collated sequence of drawings or pictures arranged in interrelated panels to display with text in balloons and captions.
It is used to express ideas, brief humor or form a narrative: It can be humorous or satirical but also may take the form of adventure story and even soap-opera continuity strip.
When used to tell a story it has the 3 main parts of a story: (Setting, Characters, Plot)
WHEREOften published in daily newspapers, with horizontal strips, printed in black-and-white. Sunday newspapers offered longer sequences in special colour section.
Web comics/online comics/internet comics, are available on the Internet and reach large audiences. Web comics can make use of an infinite canvas thus not constrained by size or dimensions of a page.
common stip creatorsStrips are written and drawn by a comics artist or cartoonist
Today due to technology more and more people express themselves via comic strips
mixed media and digital technology have become common.
specialistsTypically one creator produces the whole strip.
Sometimes a writer carries out the script and an artist (with or without additional assistant artists) the drawing of the art . In some cases, one artist draws key figures/the characters while another does only backgrounds (common in Japan).
In American superhero comic books, a penciller lays out the artwork in pencil; an inker finishes the artwork in ink; a colourist applies colours a letterer adds the captions and speech balloons.
Even if many strips are the work of two people, one signature is displayedCartoon Strip as a MediumA comic strip is considered to be a page-based story-telling through a sequence of frames similar to a filmed sequence of shots soAll strips use the basic film conventions:angle (high, straight, low, canted) zoom in/out shot-reverse shoteyeline matchDirection: left-right, top-bottom (in West)Colour: black and white or coloureduse of shot distance (ELS, LS, MS, MCU, CU, ECU)
Structures (1)Micro-structures: inter-frame relationships:
shot-reverse shotzoom in/out repetition, contrastQ/Amoment-moment action-actionsubject-subjectscene-sceneaspect-aspectnon-sequiturflash-forwardsflashback
Structures (2)Macro-structures :Consistent style: narrative structure e.g.beginning (setting/ characters/ actions)middle (problem, effect)possible solution/ cliffhanger
ORsimilar to a mainstream film and television e.g. 4-act structuresetup, complication, development, resolution
From Marchant, S. (2006) The Computer Cartoon Kit (with CD-ROM of images). Lewes: Ilex.Digital images & instructions provided!THE MAIN FEATURESTITLEPANEL/FRAMEGUTTERMOTION LINESSPEECH BUBBLE
A CAPTION :A BOX (USUALLY RECTANGULAR) USED FOR NARRATIONTEXT IS USUALLY IN CAPITALSFEATURES (1)arranged in panels or boxes.
separated out by the gutter the empty space surrounding them.
The story (in form of pictures or drawings) is FEATURES (2)The narratives are shown in caption boxes, usually coloured, to differentiate from speech.
Speech bubbles, usually round or square, use a tail pointing to the characters mouth to indicate speaking out loud.
Text, usually all in capitals
I HAVE THE SOLUTION..
FEATURES (3)FEATURES (4)
A scream bubble, with a jagged outline or a thicker line and usually larger
Text, bolder than normal letters (the character is screaming).
WHAAAAAFEATURES (5)Broadcast bubbles, with a jagged tail like a lightning flash shape
Text,letters sometimes italicised to indicate communication through an electronic device (telephone, radio, TV)
cartoon timeFEATURES (6)A whisper bubble, with a dashed/dotted outline
Text,smaller letters and a paler (grey) writing (the speaker is talking in a softer or quieter tone).
AND THEN SHEFEATURES (7)Thought bubbles,cloud-shaped word bubbles(the character is not talking loud)
HMMMM!FEATURES (8)Action words
sounds can be heard and help the image make an impact.
Examples:POW! the sound of a blowBAM! the sound of a hard blow or to show something happening abruptlySKREEECH! a car sliding around a cornerKABOOOM! the sound of an explosion
Usually in coloured jagged splats Text all in capitalsExclamations are quite often
Analysing a Comic StripIdentify modal elements & their reasons for useIdentify target reader and genre Identify stages in the narrativeEvaluate artistry Evaluate representations e.g. stereotypes, non-stereotypes
Creating a comic strip1. PlanningIdentify purpose, target audience and genreCreate draft storyboardDecide on characters ,settings, pros2. ProducingCollect/shoot/scan/upload images/photosCreate writing contentUse appropriate software to edit comic strip3. SharingSave in format for distribution (e.g. pdf)Print /shareTERMINOLOGYTITLE: the name of the creationPANEL/FRAME: individual images containing a segment of action often surrounded by a borderCAPTION: a box (usually rectangular) for narration. Captions can give voice to a narrator, convey characters' dialogue or thoughts, or indicate place or timeSOUND EFFECT/SFX or ONOMATOPOEIA: The formation of a word from a sound associated with what is named (e.g. cuckoo, sizzle)SYMBOLS/EMANATA: graphic signs used to convey information that goes beyond what could be perceived visually : e.g. sweat beads (for fear or anxiety), light bulb (for idea)GUTTER: the gap among panels to indicate narrative and temporality; the major place for meaning making.SPEECH /BUBBLE balloons: indicate dialogue (or thoughtMOTION LINES /movement lines /action lines /speed lines/ zip ribbons : the abstract lines that appear behind a moving object or person, parallel to its direction of movement, to make it appear as if it is moving quickly.MANGA: Japanese graphic novels, telling translated tales of romance, adventure, and politics.ENCAPSULATION: the process through which prime moments in a narrative are broken down into panels.CARICATURE: an exaggeration of personal characteristics, usually in picture formPERSONIFICATION: attributing human characteristics to animals or objects