Weekly Blog: Show and Tell: Chloe Brusseau

After reading chapter 6 of Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics I had a little bit of a hard time coming up with a creative Idea for my comic. When I did figure out an idea, I had a little bit of a rough time conveying it to where my story could make sense to the reader/viewer. Eventually, I came up with this comic:

Comic By Chloe Brusseau, hand drawn (week 14 comic)

In this comic, it tells the story of 2 boys who are contemplating exploring an old attic. They are a little scared, and are thinking about what is holding them back (the dark and scary critters). Ultimately, the two decide to leave and come back the next day to explore, justifying that there is nothing to worry about and they are probably over exaggerating what might be in the attic. As they walk away, a snake slithers out of the attic, confirming their fears and leaves a foreshadowing effect that things might not be so good for the boys.

I utilized interdependent word-picture combinations in 3 out of my 4 panels. In the first panel, the words describe the attic without saying the words “attic”, so the picture of the attic is necessary in order to understand what is going on. In the third panel, one boy says “Just think of all the critters up there,” and there are pictures of spiders, bugs and snakes which goes hand in hand with what he is saying. The fourth and final panel shows the boys walking away saying that they were probably overthinking the dangers of the attic, but a snake slithers out behind them without them knowing. This is interdependent because without that dialogue along with the picture, the comedy and irony would not have been conveyed. In the second panel, I utilized a montage word combination, “where words are treated as integral parts of the picture.” (McCloud 154). The word “dark” is integrated into a big black cloud. Having simply a black cloud or the word dark standing alone would not have the same effect as they do being morphed together.

I first tried to use Adobe Illustrator to complete this project but with technical difficulties I ended up using paper, markers and chalk. I think these tools were able to help me emphasize the linguistic aspects of my comic such as the word “dark” being roughly colored around with a marker and chalk, it gives a spooky and eerie feel which is what I was going for. I am going to try to sort out kinks and use Illustrator next time.

Since this comic is short, there is a lot of room for closure that is up to the reader. In between the panels, the reader can decide what happens. There is aspect-to-aspect within the panels switching from the boys in the room and their thoughts, as well as subject-to-subject between the last two panels where the frame is fixed on the boys and then goes wider to show the snake slithering away. There is also room for closure even after the last panel; the reader can decide what they think might happen now that they can assume there are critters in the attic.

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