Week 13 Comic: Living in Line

(Scott McCloud, “Understanding Comics,” Harper Collins, 1994, pg. 124).

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). This is true not just of line, but of shapes, colors, textures, etc. What senses and emotions would you like to convey in a comic this week?

  1. Creative Goal: Make a comic that uses some of the ideas and concepts from the “Living in Line” chapter. How might you convey emotions and senses that are normally invisible? The specific content of your comic is up to you: You may tell whatever story you wish.
  2. Tools & Techniques: The tools and techniques we use when we draw or create directly affect what are our lines look like. Focus on a limited number of tools and techniques and think about how they affect the quality of your lines, shapes, colors, textures, etc. How does this in turn affect the message you hope to convey?

If you are using Illustrator: Choose a limited number of tools and techniques, based on your tutorials. Which ones will help convey the emotions and/or senses that are key for your idea? You may also want to use this as a focused opportunity to get better at one of the techniques/tools demonstrated in your tutorials.

If you are trying a materials-based, hands-on method: A soft pencil will create a much different look than a thick sharpie. Cutting images from an antique science magazine will provide one aesthetic while cutting images from a contemporary fashion magazine will provide another. You may use any materials you like if you are making your comic by hand, but you should think about how your choices affect the emotions and senses you are trying to suggest. We are all currently stuck with limited resources, so you are encouraged to be inventive about what materials you may use: Dip uncooked pasta in spaghetti sauce and draw your comic on a plate, collect leaves and flowers from outside and arrange them into a comic on your kitchen table, use your younger sister’s crayons and construction paper, whatever works! You can have a lot of fun with this if you like…

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What you will hand in by class time on Tuesday, 4/14:

  1. On Class Blog: You will post your comic on the class blog and write about your work using the prompt for Blog 7: Weekly Comic: Living in Line. If you are working in Illustrator, you will need to export a JPG. Follow the instructions at the end of this page.
  2. Via Your Shared OneDrive Folder: Place your file in your shared OneDrive folder. Name the file “yourlastname-yourfirstname-week13-comic”. If you are working in Illustrator, turn in both the AI file and a high resolution, high quality JPG. If you are working by hand, turn in a photograph or scan of the comic you made, saved as a JPG or PDF.

To Export a JPG from Illustrator:

  1. With your file open in Illustrator, choose: “File > Export > Export As”
  2. In the first dialog box that appears, choose “Format: JPG,” and have “Use Artboards” checked.
  3. Hit “Export” button
  4. In the next dialog box that appears, choose “Maximum Image Quality” and “Resolution: High (300 ppi)”. Hit “OK.”
  5. Open your JPG in Photoshop to check how many pixels you have total. Go to “Image>Image Size”. Reduce for class blog post if needed.

Reminders from Scott McCloud Chapter 5: