Print Versus Digital Comic: Madison Roby

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?

A hand drawn comic about major events in my life.

In making a comic by hand with pencil, pen, and paper, I felt as though I had much less control. When I sketched something out, the proportions had to be perfect and everything needed to be the correct size and in the correct position, as it could not be moved or resized without having to erase and start over. Using a digital tool to make a comic, however, allowed me to better move and change things as I created the comic, allowing cleaner lines, easily erasable sketches, and the ability to move and resize drawings as I liked. One thing I did prefer about a traditionally made comic was my ability to better create texture in the shading and lines, but getting vibrant colors with the tools I had was impossible traditionally. Using digital techniques meant that I could correct my work, have brighter colors, and create a full comic faster.

A digitally made comic about important events in my life.

In terms of reading comics, traditional comics allow for the full picture to be in view at all times, as you can’t zoom in to each panel individually. This means that, usually, the text must be larger, the images bolder, and overall there may be less panels on a page in order to allow for ease of reading. Digital comics, on the other hand, allow readers to zoom in as they please, perhaps having each panel take up an entire page, meaning that the panels can be more detailed and/or word heavy. It all depends on reader preference, however, which is better.

Finally, after reading McCloud’s “Understanding Comics.” I got a better idea for what the word meant. Prior to the reading, I had a general idea of what a comic was and I knew that the genre was not taken seriously (other than mainstream comics that have been made into blockbusters). McCloud creating a book that could be taken seriously in a professional/teaching setting opened my eyes to the possibilities and the flexibility of comics and how underappreciated they are as a form of expression.

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