Final Poster Comic: Dawson Bolen

This is my comic titled “Appollo 50” about a mission to Mars

I was inspired by the graphic novel that I checked out from the Owen library. I love sci fi and as soon as I started brainstorming and making my pre sketch, the first Idea that popped into my head was space themed. The artwork and plot of my story was a more realistic sci fi scenario. I designed the rocket ship, the astronaut, and other elements of my work to represent a modern day space theme rather than something way in the future. However the mission was sending the astronaut to Mars, which gives it a slightly futuristic theme to the comic. This project challenged us to use innovative ways to communicate passage of time and sequence. To respond to that I avoided the traditional English ways of always sequencing my panels from top to bottom and left to right. First of all, I did have a lot of sequences read from top to bottom and left to right. However, I used a mix of both throughout the comic sequence to make the story more interesting. On the contrary, I did add panels that seemed out of place in accordance to the traditional left to right top to bottom sequence. For example, the second sequence of my comic starts with the spaceship leaving the atmosphere and moves to a zoomed out view of it. It then moves to a scene that shows the interior of the spaceship. The other three panels are in line with this scene and they show the spaceship zooming through space and then detaching the fuel tanks. It’s not obvious that the interior scene is the third sequence in this panel because it looks out of place almost like it should come last in this sequence. Despite looking out of place at first glance, the reader can read this sequence correctly through dialogue and it makes the comic more interesting. After all, this is a story about traveling to Mars which isn’t a 30 minute drive. So as a result, I had to use a high level of closure. Some sequences are action to action, but most of my comic can be defined as scene to scene. There’s a lot of time going by and only 11 by 17 inches. I couldn’t document a long journey to space. Rather I chose scene to scene to show a big jump in space and time. I did use words throughout my comic as an additive combination. They weren’t essential, but they give the reader a little more context. Overall, my comic is innovative because it describes the passage of a long period of time in a short and easy to read comic. The scene to scene closures allows the reader to know what’s going on, but it avoids being too repetitive by staying away from all the story being a long and boring space journey.

This sequence shows a unique structure that challenges the standard of left to right.

Using Illustrator was a lot of fun and it allowed the project to have a lot of creative freedom. I am familiar with Illustrator because I took a graphic design class throughout high school; However, I retained a lot of information through the tutorials and it felt good to review. One thing I learned was clipping masks, which was a very useful tool that allowed me to zoom in on frames to give a different perspective. I would say the most useful tools for me were the pen tool, and the clipping mask tool. These tools allowed me to create backgrounds and transform them to better fit a scene. Also, I used the pen tool to draw many of the important pieces in my comic such as the rocket ship and the astronaut.  The Iconography I used was pretty simple. Though detailed and somewhat realistic I definitely went for a simplistic approach in my line work. I used a lot of loud lines and quiet lines. Some of the panels are meant to give the viewer a sense of madness due to the nature of outer space and the danger involved. Some scenes like the final one were meant to give the viewer a feeling of peace and tranquility. 


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