Weekly Blog: Show and Tell: Anh Ngo

In chapter 6, McCloud talked about the importance of having a balance between words and pictures. Without balance, the story would differ from the author’s intention. For my comic, I created a visual representation of how it is like whenever I go running through the use of Illustrator. The tools that I used to create the characters and backgrounds were the pen tool, shape tool, gradient, clipping mask, and text. I used the pen tool to manipulate the character’s facial features, hair, body shape, and speech bubble. I used the shape tool to create the rectangular panels and the smaller version of that character’s heads using the eclipse tool. The gradient tool allows me to create some 3-D feel to the comic.

Run! by Anh Ngo

Although the comic does not contain too many words throughout, the dialogs that are provided towards the end of the comic still plays a crucial part in allowing the readers to understand the story. With too many dialogs, the words would not add much value to the story as the montage gives the readers a visual cue in understanding what the characters are doing until the very end of the comic. However, without the use of dialogs, the readers might come up with many different interpretations that could be unrelated to what the story is about. For example, instead, it is about a person being exhausted after running for only 5 minutes, without words, the reader could see a character is trying to run away from another person but failed and got kidnap. Similar to what McCloud said in his book, “the different ways in which words and pictures can combine in comics is virtually unlimited.”

With that in mind, I used both the picture specific combinations and interdependent word-picture combinations. In the first 7 panels, I used picture specific combination by creating a juxtaposition of a character’s running montage. To add some dimension to the comic, I added some sound effects. In the last three panels, I used the idea of interdependent by adding some speech bubbles for the characters. Without the speech bubbles, you are able to see that the female character is feeling exhausted through the expression of her face and that the male character in the back said something that made the female character face turn blue and then being by herself in a dark area in the end. By adding in the text, the reader can now understand that the female character is done running. However, she has only run for 5 minutes. She feels embarrassed and wants to be left alone. The “words and pictures go hand in had to convey an idea that neither could convey alone.”

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