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 “Comics Timeline” pages about the American Revolution together!)
JUMP TO: Template / Research / Layout / Pencils (Draft #1) / Pencils (Draft #2) / Inks / Final Comics
START: The “SETTING+ACTION+RESULT” Template:
Here’s a basic 3-panel page template I’ve used since the very first Comics Camp I ever taught!:
Full-Page (3 panel) Setting+Action+Result
See this template in action, using the F.A.S.T. toolbox: Drawing “Hospital Cat”! >>
RESEARCH: “The Intolerable Acts”
According to the COMICS TIMELINE project, each artist in our class group chooses a topic from the Amercian Revolution to research & draw in comics form.
My topic is “The Intolerable Acts,” which — I must admit — I’ve forgotten all about since the last time I read about the Revolution!
To start, I’ll gather some basic info @ this Wikipedia entry >>…
^ This is NOT a picture of the “Intolerable Acts”… But it DOES provide some good info about clothing, technology, etc.!
(Click on any of the images below to view @ full size in a separate tab.)
First I’ll set up a basic 3-panel S+A+R page:
Next, based on my quick research (above), I’ll select a SETTING (with actions in it), an ACTION (in a new setting), and a RESULT of that action.
Without taking any time to CARTOON these ideas, I’ll just block it out in my panels:
PENCILING (DRAFT #1):
Now I’ll rough in the basic shapes of Parliament & the colonists:
Hmmm, I think the colonists will all have those 3-corner hats… But what about Parliament? (Time to look for some paintings or drawings from the time!)
(EXTENSION: If I have time, I might do another page that shows the specific EFFECTS of the Intolerable Acts…)
ALSO, now I’m looking for READER FEEDBACK before I can ink my work… 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?
PENCILING (DRAFT #2):
After some reading & reflection, I’ve penciled a DRAFT #2 to make 2 key changes:
- I’m extending my comic to 2-3 pages, allowing for LESS to happen in each panel. (I hope this more spacious approach will make the comics more readable!)
- I’m drawing Parliament as LIONS, and colonists as… some kind of BIRD. (Eagles? Chickens? To be decided…)
The new PAGE 1 sets the scene:
PAGE 2 enumerates the 4 main “Intolerable Acts”:
Some of the spoken text on p.1 is adapted from this primary source quote:
The Americans have tarred and feathered your subjects, plundered your merchants, burnt your ships, denied all obedience to your laws and authority; yet so clement and so long forbearing has our conduct been that it is incumbent on us now to take a different course. Whatever may be the consequences, we must risk something; if we do not, all is over.
~ Lord North / 22 April 1774 [wikipedia >>]