Blog Prompts: 201

This page provides blog prompts for each blog entry that is due. Please review guidelines each time you post. Remember, posts are due before class begins (see schedule).

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Blog #10 Final Web Comic

Use this blog to explain both the creative and technical processes behind the creation of your web comic. You may go over the normal word count limit of 500 words if needed.

First, discuss your creative plan for your comic. You were asked to write and design a comic that embraces web viewing. How did you accomplish this? Address:

  • What current possibilities and limitations of web presentation and screen reading inspired you?
  • How do you think you guide the viewer through your comic? How do you expect the reader will interact with your work?
  • What happens if your comic is viewed on different devices (phone, tablet, laptop, desktop, etc.)
  • What do you think Scott McCloud would say about your comic, based on your reading of his book, “Understanding Comics”?

Second, discuss your experience making a comic for display on a website:

  • Did you use Illustrator or Photoshop? Explain why.
  • How did you put your comic on a website? Did you try to build a website yourself or did you use web software like WordPress or Wix? What was your experience overall?
  • How did you get the files you made in Illustrator or Photoshop onto your website?
  • What did you learn that was new during this project, in regards to Photoshop or Illustrator and in terms of making websites?

Include at least one detail image from your comic in your blog post (1500-2000 pixels in the wider dimension, and 72 ppi, uploaded as a JPG). Also, make sure you link to your comic on its home website, unless your final planned web presentation was on our class blogroll. Make sure you have read the other posting guidelines. Don’t forget to follow instructions for inserting media and adding captions as explained in my WordPress instructional video from earlier in the semester. All images need captions, even if you made the image yourself.

  • Title this post Final Web Comic: Your First  & Last Name
  • Check the 201 Blog and Final Web Comic categories when you post

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Blog #9 Graphic Novel Review

Write a review of the graphic novel or book-length comic you chose to read during the month of October. First, give us an overview of the story and the iconography. Why do you think the writer/artist chose to use the type of iconography and drawing style s/he did? Refer to some specific concepts from Scott McCloud’s book “Understanding Comics” that you think apply well to this book/comic. Include at least one visual example from your book. Don’t forget to provide the title and author.

You also read a number of web comics by Eroyn Franklin and Scott McCloud for this week. What struck you as especially different or noteworthy about reading comics in a digital format? Explain your ideas in relation to at least one specific concept from Scott McCloud’s book “Understanding Comics”. Again, include a visual example. This time you may need to take a screenshot or right-click to save an image from the relevant webpage.

Make sure your images are saved for the web: 1500-2000 pixels in the wider dimension, 72 ppi, saved as JPGs. Make sure you have reviewed all posting guidelines. Don’t forget to follow instructions for inserting media and adding captions as explained in my WordPress instructional video from earlier in the semester.

  • Title this post Graphic Novel Review: Your First and Last Name
  • Check the 201 Blog and Graphic Novel Review categories when you post

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Blog #8 Final Poster Comic

Use this blog to explain both the creative and technical processes behind the creation of your poster comic:

First, discuss your creative plan for your comic. You were asked to employ inventive layout and design strategies to communicate the passage of time. How did you accomplish this? Address:

  • How do you think your comic challenges the reader’s normal left-to-right, top-to-bottom expectations?
  • How do you think you guide the viewer through your comic?
  • Describe some specific instances of how you think closure is working, and explain what kind of closure it is, according to Scott McCloud (see “Blood in the Gutter” chapter).
  • If you used the linguistic mode in your comic (words), explain how you think the word/image combos are working, according to Scott McCloud’s definitions (see “Show and Tell” chapter).
  • Overall, how does your comic describe the passage of time? Why is your strategy inventive?

Second, discuss your experience using Illustrator:

  • Is this your first time using Illustrator? If not, how much have you used it before? What did you learn that was new?
  • What kind of iconography did you use for your comic and why? Think about Scott McCloud’s “Living in Line” chapter. How might the style in which you made lines and shapes affect the viewer’s perception of your work? Did working with Illustrator and vector graphics provide inspiration here? Were there limitations as well that affected your work?
  • What tools and techniques from the tutorials were most useful in the creation of your collage? Explain how you used them. What was confusing, if anything?

You have already saved a high resolution JPG of your AI file to prepare for handing in your files via Blackboard. Now, saving as a copy, reduce the pixel dimensions of your document so it is web resolution: 1500-2000 pixels in the wider dimension, and 72 ppi. Insert the JPG of your comic at the beginning of your post at medium size, making sure the text of your first paragraph wraps around it. You may insert additional images, perhaps details of your work, if you wish. Make sure you have read the other posting guidelines. Don’t forget to follow instructions for inserting media and adding captions as explained in my WordPress instructional video from earlier in the semester. All images need captions, even if you made the image yourself.

  • Title this post Final Poster Comic: Your First  & Last Name
  • Check the 201 Blog and Final Poster Comic categories when you post

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Blog #7: Individual Voices

Note: You need to participate in the class visit to the WSU Art Museum Collection Study Center to complete this post.

In “Chapter 7: The Six Steps” from “Understanding Comics,” Scott McCloud states, “because of its independence from our evolution-bred instincts, art is the way we assert our identities as individuals and break out of the narrow roles nature cast us in” (166). Likewise, in “Chapter 9: Putting It All Together,” he says, “today, comics is one of the very few forms of mass communication in which individual voices still have a chance to be heard” (197).

For this blog post, find an artist’s work that speaks to you on our visit to the WSU Art Museum Collection Study Center, where we will see works from the Northwest Alternative Comics exhibition (Fall 2016). Use your blog post to explain how you feel the artist makes his or her individual voice heard to you. Make sure to reference some concepts we have discussed in regards to closure, time and motion, time and space, and/or word-image combinations (see Chapters 3, 4, and 6).

You may take reference images in the center, so take detail image(s) that you can post on your blog. Make sure you take notes so you can write a caption and cite the source as best you can. Make sure your images are saved for the web: 1500-2000 pixels in the wider dimension, 72 ppi, saved as JPGs. Make sure you have reviewed all posting guidelines. Don’t forget to follow instructions for inserting media and adding captions as explained in my WordPress instructional video from earlier in the semester.

  • Title this post Individual Voices: Your First  & Last Name
  • Check the 201 Blog and Individual Voices categories when you post

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Blog #6: Invisible Emotion

Note: You need to participate in the class visit to MASC to complete this post.

In “Chapter 5: Living in Line” from “Understanding Comics”, Scott McCloud talks about ways in which comic book artists convey “the invisible realm of senses and emotions” (135). Line quality has an immediate effect on viewer/reader perception. McCloud gives examples of how line can be “loud, rank, cold, quiet, sour, warm” (120). Likewise, he explains how it can show “anger, joy, serenity, tension, intimacy, madness, pride, anxiety” (118-9). Find an example from the work we see in MASC that you think uses line quality well in order to convey emotion. Write a paragraph to explain how it does this and what type of emotion is conveyed to you. You may want to reference John Lovett’s explanation on line as well.

Scott McCloud also explains that “together, words and pictures can work miracles” (135), and this is the topic for “Chapter 6: Show and Tell”. When a combination of word and picture is interdependent, the words and pictures go hand in hand to convey an idea that neither could convey alone. For your second example for this blog post, try your best to find a good example of an interdependent word/picture combo in MASC. Write a paragraph to explain how you interpret the example and why it is interdependent. If you can’t find an example of this type of word/picture combo, find one of these instead that you think works well:

Types of word/picture combos according to Scott McCloud (153-155):

  • Word-specific: Pictures illustrate, but don’t significantly add to a largely complex text
  • Picture-specific: Words do little more than add a soundtrack to a visually told sequence
  • Duo-specific: Both words and pictures send essentially the same message
  • Additive: Words amplify or elaborate on an image or vice versa
  • Parallel: Words and pictures seem to follow very different courses without intersecting
  • Montage: Words are treated as integral parts of the picture
  • Interdependent: Words and pictures go hand in hand to convey an idea that neither could convey alone

You may take reference images in MASC, so take detail shots that you can post on your blog for each example. Make sure you take notes so you can write a caption and cite the source as best you can. Make sure your images are saved for the web: 1500-2000 pixels in the wider dimension, 72 ppi, saved as JPGs. Make sure you have reviewed all posting guidelines. Don’t forget to follow instructions for inserting media and adding captions as explained in my WordPress instructional video from earlier in the semester.

  • Title this post Invisible Emotion: Your First  & Last Name
  • Check the 201 Blog and Invisible Emotion categories when you post

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Blog #5 Closure and Time Frames

Find a graphic novel that appeals to you, both in terms of aesthetics and in terms of content: You may check one out from the WSU Library (see searching instructions from Lorena O’English) or borrow a book from your instructor. (Plan to read this book in its entirety by November 5th.) In the meantime, for this blog, skim your chosen book and look for interesting examples of closure and time frames, based on your understanding of Scott McCloud’s Chapters 3-4. Find examples and write a paragraph about:

  1. One interesting example of closure, explaining why it is moment-to-moment, action-to-action, subject-to-subject, scene-to-scene, aspect-to-aspect, or non-sequitur. Insert an image of your example, scanned or photographed from your book, alongside your explanation.
  2. One interesting example of time frames that asks for serious viewer participation or interpretation, such as on pages 105-106 of “Understanding Comics.” Insert an image of your example, scanned or photographed from your book, alongside your explanation.

Make sure your images are saved for the web: 1500-2000 pixels in the wider dimension, 72 ppi, saved as JPGs. Make sure you have reviewed all posting guidelines. Don’t forget to follow instructions for inserting media and adding captions as explained in my WordPress instructional video from earlier in the semester.

  • Title this post Closure and Time Frames: Your First  & Last Name
  • Check the 201 Blog and Closure and Time Frames categories when you post

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Blog #4 Final Digital Comics Collage

Use this blog to explain both the creative and technical process behind the creation of your digital collage comic:

First, discuss creative motivations and the information or aesthetic experience you hope your reader/viewer will take away from your work. Make sure to address:

  • How your comic fits into McCloud’s definition: “Juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer” (McCloud pg 9);
  • How other readings, such as John Lovett’s Design Overview, helped you think about your composition on the page;
  • How the materials, objects, textures, and images you juxtaposed in your work help make meaning through the collage process; and
  • If you used the linguistic mode in your comic (words), how you made visual choices about their representation as well (Visual mode? Gestural mode? How to the words look?).

Second, discuss your experience using Photoshop:

  • Is this your first time using Photoshop? If not, how much have you used it before? What did you learn that was new?
  • What tools and techniques from the tutorials were most useful in the creation of your collage? Explain how you used them. What was confusing, if anything?
  • Do you like composing in a digital environment? Why or why not?

You have already saved a high resolution JPG of your PSD file to prepare for handing in your files via Blackboard. Now, saving as a copy, reduce the pixel dimensions of your document so it is web resolution: 1500-2000 pixels in the wider dimension, and 72 ppi. Insert the JPG of your comic at the beginning of your post at medium size, making sure the text of your first paragraph wraps around it. You may insert additional images, perhaps details of your work, if you wish. Make sure you have read the other posting guidelines. Don’t forget to follow instructions for inserting media and adding captions as explained in my WordPress instructional video from earlier in the semester. All images need captions, even if you made the image yourself.

  • Title this post Final Digital Comic Collage: Your First  & Last Name
  • Check the 201 Blog and Final Digital Comic Collage categories when you post

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Blog #3: Design Elements and Principles

After reading all of John Lovett’s Design Overview (this includes the links: Elements of Design, Line, Shape, Direction, Size, Texture, Color, Value, The Principles of Design, Balance, Gradation, Repetition, Contrast, Harmony, Dominance, and Unity), choose a single page or 2-spread from Scott McCloud’s “Understanding Comics” that you’d like to discuss in terms of your new design vocabulary. Explain why you think McCloud’s layout is effective in terms of at least three of the elements and/or principles described by John Lovett. Make sure you demonstrate an understanding of both Lovett and McCloud. (You may choose any page from McCloud, it does not have to be a chapter we have assigned yet.)

Scan the relevant page(s) from “Understanding Comics” and insert into your post (make sure to cite the source!). You may also wish to insert separate details from the page(s) if you are writing about something small in scale or something very detailed. All images should be jpgs, 1500-2000 pixels in the wider dimension. Make sure you have read the posting guidelines. Don’t forget to follow instructions for inserting media and adding captions as explained in my WordPress instructional video from last week.

  • Title this post Design Elements and Principles: Your First  & Last Name
  • Check the 201 Blog and Design Elements & Principles categories when you post

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Blog #2: Physical to Virtual

What materials did you bring to the CDSC for our first scanning day? Now that you know something about scanning and resolution, what additional items will you consider digitizing? Why do you think they will be interesting to use for your digital comics collage? Remember, Project 1: Comics Collage should reference physical, textural space, even though you will execute most of the work in virtual space as you learn beginning, intermediate, or advanced skills in Adobe Photoshop.

Practice scanning several items at the CDSC, which is open M-F from 8:30am to 4:30pm, (Remember to check their calendar too to see if a class is using the facilities: If the CDSC is not reserved, you can just stop in), or in Avery 101 (ask the consultant on duty if you need help). Post one or two of your scans, remembering to reduce your file size for web resolution. This means your jpg should be 1500-2000 pixels wide maximum. Make sure you have read the posting guidelines. Don’t forget to follow instructions for inserting media and adding captions as explained in my WordPress instructional video from last week.

  • Title this post  Physical to Virtual: Your First  & Last Name
  • Check the 201 Blog and Physical to Virtual categories when you post

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Blog #1: Print Versus Digital Comic

For this blog, compare and contrast your experience of making a comic by hand versus using a digital tool. What were the benefits and drawbacks of each way of working? Likewise, what seems to be the difference between reading a comic on screen as opposed to paper? Finally, did reading the first chapter of Scott McCloud’s “Understanding Comics” give you any ideas as you created your digital comic?

Post images of both your Digital Comic and your Hand-Drawn Comic, saved as JPG or PDF files. You can take a picture of your hand-drawn comic in order to post it. You may also have to re-save your Digital Comic in a different file format (PDF or JPG). Here is an example of a sample post from a different semester (note, topic is different). Make sure you have read the posting guidelines.

  • Title this post Print Versus Digital Comic: Your First  & Last Name
  • Check the 201 Blog and Print Versus Digital categories when you post

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