“Juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or produce an aesthetic response in the viewer”. Scott McCloud’s definition of a comic in his book, Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art can fit a wide variety of artistic work and personally broadened my understanding of what a comic is, and what a comic could be. When beginning this project, I instantly knew what I wanted to make based on McCloud’s definition of a comic. I decided to make a collage comic to summarize the experiences and adventures me and my girlfriend, Tabby, have made over the last 3.5 years. Most of these items are very specific to the experiences we had together, and the audience is the two of us and those where were there along the way. This comic is something that I would post on a blog or print out and hang on my wall, and not something that would go into a newspaper as a conventional ‘comic’.
Each item in the comic portrays our relationships’ journey through the years, from high school sweethearts to our junior year at university. The comic is split up in four sections, each representing a year of our relationship. The first (top left) quadrant depicts our fall semester of our senior year (2016) at Lake Stevens High School. The second quadrant (top right) is our final semester of high school and the senior dinner dance and prom that are some of the peaks of our high school years, as well as the first semester of school at WSU (2017). The bottom left quadrant is our first ‘real’ year at WSU, 2018, when we started making college friends, I joined a fraternity and we still had money to spare. The bottom right quadrant (2019) is a bit more ‘controlled’ than the rest of the quadrants, as we are entering our junior year of college and becoming adults. The black jersey as the backdrop is Gardner Minshew II’s Jaguars jersey that we both purchased after his performances last year at WSU and his journey to a starting QB in the NFL. The playing cards were a fun way to show what year the comic was made, spelling out ‘2019’ with the joker as the 0. The card ‘3’ at the bottom is meant to depict how many years we’ve been together. While there are 4 quadrants, we haven’t yet celebrated our 4th anniversary. These playing cards, along with everything else in the comic, were little parts from our biggest adventures that I’ve kept in a memory box.
This comic is amazing to me; being able to put these items together and tell our story with snapshots of our past. The separate quadrants, each with their own aura, show the juxtaposition under McCloud’s definition of a comic and are ordered by year, a deliberate sequence. To follow some of John Lovett’s Design Overview information, I made sure to keep the colors different, but also avoided keeping all of one color within a single quadrant. The WSU jersey is the background for quadrant 3 but the ticket stub and the pamphlet are in quadrant 4, to keep a flow to the comic. I did not add a linguistic mode to my comic, but within most of the pieces are written information giving context to when, where and what each item describes.
As for my experience in Photoshop, I have taken a photography class and a digital technology class where we primarily used Photoshop for editing. The tutorials taught me new ways to make selections that allowed me to alter pictures in a more realistic fashion. I thought about using masks and shadowing but decided not to, as the comic is supposed to have a more realistic feel, as if this could be pinned on a wall. I love the wide variety of uses that a digital landscape has to offer and creating this on bulletin board would have been far more difficult and not as polished as my digital final product.