Weekly Blog: Living In Line: Anh Ngo

In Chapter 5: Living in Line, from Steve McCloud’s Understanding Coming, McCloud discussed the idea of how visibility/invisibility of lines helps portray emotions and effects within art. After learning that, I wanted to play with emotions within my comic using lines but also using the zooming in the effect of a panel to create a more dramatic feel to the story. The emotion that I wanted to portray is concentration, disappointment, shock, and confidence.


With Illustrator, I created a story of four friends playing an online game of Goldfish. I used the pen tool to create the outlines and detailing of each character and object. I then used the gradient tool to add some 3-D effect to the character’s hair as well as the blue background of the second to the last panel, indicating shocked. To create that tinted effect differentiate a computer screen with the “real-world”, I used the image transparency tool. For the screen, I used the line tool to add some “screen-glare” effect onto the screen. Using the basic shape tool, I was able to create some square and rectangular panels where I used the clipping mask to crop out the unwanted part of my character without having to crop out the image.

May the Best Win by Anh Ngo


In this comic, you start with the four eyes panels. By making the color of the background vibrant along with the thick line borders, the viewer’s eyes would see that as the focal point, thus cueing a signal saying that this is the first panel. Rather than making the panels all 90 degrees rectangles, I wanted to angel the lines that separate the eyes to create an invisible effect that tells the readers that this is a serious and “uneasy” game. I also used the 3-D effect on the card table and mouse pad to angle them to create a somewhat realistic 3-D effect.


Moving along to the next panels, the text bubble can be seen going through the back of the female’s character’s head. This indicates that the person that green headphones are talking to is this female character and that although he is out of frame in the next panel, the readers can tell that he is still talking. Because the text bubbles are all touching the panels next to it, it juxtaposes on how all of these five panels are happening right after the other.


To create a different expression, I angled the eyebrows and mouth while adding extra lines in between the eyebrows to show when the character is either disappointed, confident, or in total concentration.


Because this is a game, rather than creating a real ending to the story, I wanted to make it feel like the comic is continuing by placing the panels in a way that surrounds the title. This creates circular motion, implying the continuum of the game.

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