ANIMAL COMICS Demo: “Black Bear”

Here’s a demo project I’m working on as part of a residency @ the Well School (Peterborough, NH). I’ll update this post with each stage of the project, so you can follow along in the creative process.

(A big thanks to my students & co-creators for their feedback & help as we all make “Animal Comics” together!)

JUMP TO: Template | Research | Pencil (Draft #1) + Feedback |
Pencil (Draft #2) | Pencils + Inks (Draft #3) | Final Mini!

START: The “Animal Comics” Template:

Here’s the basic template we’re all using to create 1-Sheet mini-comics about our chosen local wildlife:

RESEARCH: “Black Bears”

My chosen animal is the Black Bear. I have some black bears living in the woods near my house, but I need to look up some specific information about them to include in my comic.

I’m starting off with the “black bear” page @ NH Fish & Game

PENCILING PAGES / DRAFT #1:

Here are my penciled p.1 (front cover) and p.2-3 (habitat + food)…

Now I’m looking for READER FEEDBACK before I can ink these pages… Please feel free to comment.

  • What do you notice?
  • What’s confusing (or unclear or missing)?
  • What decisions do you think the artist made, and why?

READER FEEDBACK / DRAFT #1:

Okay! I got some good feedback from my test readers in the first grade classroom… This helps me see Draft #1 through their eyes. It gives me a sense of what they noticed, what they have questions about, & what they’d like to see.

Now, I have to decide which of these items (if any) I want to work on as I improve my project.

PENCILING PAGES / DRAFT #2:

Here’s my penciled Draft #2, taking into account some of the feedback above… My artwork is still pretty messy, but I’ll clean it up when it comes time to INK.

The cover (p.1) stays the same:

I took the DEN out of p.3, to focus on HABITAT & FOOD only:

p.4 = Den (partial hibernation) / p.5 = cubs!

p.6 = range (from a map @ bear.org >>)
p.7 = territory (a lone he-bear enjoying the sunset?):

p.8 = This ended up being fun-facts… (from BLACK BEAR FAQs >>)

(Q) Is that 1784 fact too grim as an ending?
(READER FEEDBACK: Whoa, yes.)

PENCILING & INKING / DRAFT #3:

Revising & starting to ink, we now have that back cover with an “Author’s Note”:

P.8:

This mini is DRAWN with NH students in January 2022 / & DEDICATED to the 5,000 (or so) BLACK BEARS who live in NH!

The revised & inked p.2-3 spread:

P.4-5 = inking in progress:

NEXT UP: More edits & inking!

WORK IN PROGRESS ~ More to come! Stay ‘tooned…

Published by Marek

Cartoonist, musician, teacher.

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