For this project, I was asked to employ inventive layout and design strategies to communicate the passing of time. By doing this, I got a better understanding for comics and what goes into making one. When creating my comic, I challenged the reader’s normal left-to-right sequence by creating a snake-like pattern. I found this strategy to be an easy guide for the viewer, as well as keep them interested in the story I was trying to tell. When I gave my comic to my friends to look out, they all said that they liked the snake-like pattern because they had to pay more attention to the story.
Throughout the possess of making my comic, I used the strategies of closure and linguistic modes from Scott MacCloud’s Understanding Comics to help me create the final project. When looking at closure from chapter three, I used the scan-to-scan transition to convey the passing of time from in the classroom to Christmas day. This transportation of time suggests that the time frame the comic takes place in is both before and after Christmas. Therefore, giving the viewer a better sense of the setting and what is taking place.
The linguistic mode I used to enhance my storytelling is interdependent and montage. Throughout my story, the dialog and pictures go hand in hand to tell a story that, alone, they couldn’t. This interdepended linguistic element allows the viewer to better understand and enjoy the story. When using the montage mode, described by McCloud as words that are treated as if they are a part of a picture, I use it in a very deliberate way. I only use it once when people in John’s class laugh at him after sharing his letter to Santa. This was done to emphasize the emotion that John was feeling in a way that a simple dialogue couldn’t do.
Overall, the passage of time is described in my comic by the snake-like pattern and the splitting of time from before Christmas and Christmas day. It is also defined through the passing of movement. When John and his parents drove to the hospital there is a closer that we put together in our heads that time has passed for them to get there. I think that my strategy was inventive because it splits the time in a single comic.
Just like photoshop, this is the first time I have used Illustrator and I found it to be just as challenging. The tutorials were helpful, but I still found things to be puzzling when I sat down to make my comic. I am not someone who learns from videos, but more hands-on and from a person. When using the Illustrator platform, I used a shape and drawing iconography because the style allowed me to convey my story in a creative and emotional evoking way. For example, the style in which I made the lines and shapes in my first panel helps the viewer to get a feeling of a calm environment. Moreover, the circle shapes in my fifth panel directs the viewer’s attention to John and gives a more focused emotion that is sad. Working with Illustrator and vector graphs inspired me because it made me think more critically about what I was doing. This was because of both the possibilities and limitations from using the platform. I felt like I could make a very straight forward comic, but anything extravagant was limited because of the solid colors and tools that I had to use.
The best tools and techniques that I took away from the tutorials were the grouping tool and the drawing tool. I used the grouping tool to group shapes to make characters and objects (such as the Christmas tree). This made it easier to move things around and place things where I wanted them. I used the drawing tool to create most of the elements in my comic. It allowed me to be creative and add elements that I couldn’t with the shapes provided. If anything, what was confusing was getting started and learning how to use all the different tools together.