Week 15 Comic: Putting It All Together

Scott McCloud, “Understanding Comics,” Harper Collins, 1994, pg. 166.

Note: This comic is worth twice as many points as your previous two weeklies.

In Chapter 7: The Six Steps, Scott McCloud talks about why humans are motivated to make art. He says “Art is the way we assert our identities as individuals and break out of the narrow roles nature cast us in” (166). In Chapter 9: Putting It All Together, which you read for this week, he also says: “We all live in a state of profound isolation. No other human being can ever know what it’s like to be you from the inside…All media of communication are a by-product of our sad inability to communicate directly from mind to mind (194).

Scott McCloud, “Understanding Comics,” Harper Collins, 1994, pg. 194.

Though our final artistic products may never be exactly what we initially envision, our effort to communicate with one another and to assert our individuality is important, perhaps now more than ever as we live in increased isolation due to the current health pandemic. This week, make a comic that expresses something about your individuality. Choose specific tools, digital or otherwise, that are well-suited to your message and your goals.

Think about Scott McCloud’s Six Steps from Chapter 7 (pages 170-171) as you decide how to make your comic: 1) Idea/purpose, 2) Form, 3) Idiom, 4) Structure, 5) Craft, 6) Surface. In terms of form, the second step, you have to make a comic, of course, but beyond that you still have a number of choices to make that will affect how the comic functions. Your individual take on a comic— “juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response” (9)—may look significantly different than a comic made by one of your classmates.

Make this comic much more lengthy and ambitious than your previous two weekly comics. As I explain in the week 14 video lecture, we are removing the web portfolio/zine component of this final project, in an effort to simplify and streamline work, so this comic will be worth 100 points and should really show off what you have learned about comics this semester.

As before, you may use Illustrator or a materials-based, hands-on method to make this last weekly comic. Choose your tools and techniques carefully, and be ready to write about them in your final blog post (Blog 9), which will be worth 50 points instead of the normal 25.

Since I expect more of this final weekly comic, and since we are removing the web portfolio/zine component, you will have until Monday of Final Weeks to complete the work. If you need even more time, please email your instructor.

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What you will hand in by class time on Monday, 5/4:

  1. On Class Blog: You will post your comic on the class blog and write about your work using the prompt for Blog 9 Weekly Comic: Putting It All Together. If you are working in Illustrator, you will need to export a JPG. Follow the instructions at the end of this page. You will also hand in the Illustrator file separately (next step).
  2. Via Your Shared OneDrive Folder: Place your file in your shared OneDrive folder. Name the file “yourlastname-yourfirstname-week15-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.

Scott McCloud, “Understanding Comics,” Harper Collins, 1994, pg. 195.