Monday, July 28, 2014

Day 4: Sounds like Teen Comics

On Day 4, Travis took us through Onomatopoeia (Q: How do you spell onomatopoeia?  A: Just the way it sounds) He discussed 'QLUNQ!' in the strip above, and also 'PAAAF!' from Asterix, which, as Damien pointed out, sounds less like a tree hitting a Roman legionary in the head, and more like 'a balloon filled with flour hitting your face'. Good point.

He talked about Roy Lichetenstein's 'WHAAM!' (1963) - for a great article about that painting, and the 1962 Irv Novick comic book art that inspired it, have a look at comics theorist Paul Gravett's piece, here.

After telling us the story of JRR Tolkien's favourite phrase*, Travis got us to convert sound effects into onomatopoeias. We then went on to produce 3 panel comic strips in which the sound effects were the main focus - very satisfying.

(Bernard couldn't help himself--he had to have a go)

After the break, Bernard took the stage and showed us how comics moved from strip to page.

Superman made the transition from strip to become the very first Superhero comic book.

The pages, however, were little more than collections of the smaller strips, and thus fairly static.

The action is framed in a similar way in every panel, and POV is limited to midshots and longshots. Then came artists like Jack Kirby who played with framing and blew out the frame.

SO how do we get from three and four panel strips to a page??

First, take a random item and draw it.

Now play with scale. Put another character next to your object to give it some scale. While you're at it, add noise--either dialogue or some onomatopeias to give a reaction between the characters.

Finally, give a title or caption to place this scene in a location.

Now make a thumbnail sketch of 4 panels of the next scene between this object and character.

Alternatively give us 4 panels that leads us to your existing moment... or both.

The point is to ask yourself the most important question, and the hardest.

What happens next???

This is the point of comics. This is the point of narrative.

And it's hard.

Once you have worked out what happens in a sketch, make the 'good copy' 
...... but that will have to wait until tomorrow.

*'cellar door', apparently

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