Print Versus Digital Comic: Maddy West

I created two comics, one hand drawn and the other on Microsoft Word. My hand drawn comic includes six panels where I have drawn myself as a stick figure. In this comic, I introduce myself to the reader and share facts about myself. To create this comic, I drew in pencil, went over it in pen, and then highlighted some of the important areas in orange. I tried to keep a similar theme with my digital comic. For the digital comic, I included four panels. I followed the same pattern of having the figure introduce herself, but then I included different facts. I also included a variety of colors.

Hand drawn comic by Maddy West, January 2020.

The benefit of being able to draw my cartoon by hand is that I had more freedom of expression with my comics. Once I thought of my idea, I was able to immediately translate that onto the page. I was also able to add some texture to the page. The biggest drawback of hand drawing this comic was my own lack of artistic skills. While I am creative, my ability to truly replicate what I see in my head is not super advanced. This frustrated me because I could not truly get to the vision I wanted to.

In my digital comic, I loved how clean I was able to make the illustrations. Being able to have the computer create straight lines and perfect circles made my comic easier to produce. The biggest drawback for me was that I wasn’t able to make small changes as easily and the precision it took to get the picture looking correct was a lot higher. Since the lines are a lot cleaner, and since I could not erase small mistakes, the digital comic actually took me a lot longer than the hand drawn comic.

Digital comic designed by Maddy West, January 2020.

Since my comics had a similar layout, the biggest difference in reading on the screen versus on a piece of paper is actually being able to see the textural differences. Because a pen and a marker were used in creating my hand drawn comic, it is easy to see that texture. In Word I was not able to really create the same feeling of depth that I could on paper. Other than that, I did not really see a difference in reading a comic on the screen or a paper.

After reading the first chapter of Scott McCloud’s “Understanding Comics,” I adjusted my plan for my digital comic. McCloud’s idea that comics are in a “deliberate sequence” stood out to me. To ensure that my comic was in a deliberate order, I went from past to present. I started by explaining my favorite color, which I have loved for a long time. Then, I added that I did cheer in high school. Finally, I added that I am now an RA in Regents. While this sequence may not be immediately obvious to the reader, I think that it helps with the complexity of the comic.

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