Putting It All Together: Anh Ngo

In chapter 6 of McCloud’s text, he illustrated the idea of the importance of having a balance of words and image to describe the story that the author is intending to convey while chapter 7 discusses the idea of applying six different steps from the text to really form that balance; idea/purpose, form, idiom, structure, craft, surface, craft, and surface. By having all these factors together, the comic will not only look more appealing, but also interesting to read.

Since the topic for this week is expressing our individuality through the style of comic, I was unsure as to what part of me I wanted to convey. Due to the pandemic, we have all been staying at home to keep both ourselves and others safe, I was reflecting back as to what my life was before the quarantine started and truth be told, it hasn’t really changed too much. Except instead of taking online classes, I physically went to class. Because of that, I figured, why not create a comic based on my daily life? This type of story could be placed in the Slice-of-Life genre. My daily life is not that all interesting. I live a simple life where I perform the same routine. To convey that simplicity, I did not add too many details into my characters or the environment that takes place except for when I zoom in on the character/object itself.  

Anh in ONE Nutshell: Quarantine Life 2020 by Anh Ngo

Inspired by the comic Here by Richard McGuire, I wanted to illustrate a simple looking comic that depicted my everyday life using Adobe Illustrator as my instrument. In McGuire’s comic, he used little to no words in his comic. The only text he uses were of the dates for the event that was occurring in each of the panels. As for the environment and panels, the panels tell the different events occurring at different time but within the same environment. Wanting to use the same idea, I put time in the corners of my panels to inform my readers the timeline in which the event took place. The environment is within my apartment: Bedroom, living room, and kitchen. The gray line that is placed on the right of the comic illustrates a wall that separates my room and the other two rooms within my apartment. There is no wall separating the kitchen and my living room, so I did not add the same thick line as I did for my bedroom, however, the lining in the floor gives off the same sense of separation. Since all of the events that are occurring takes place in my apartment, the different colored panels help the readers differentiate between panels; each color expresses the mood that I was feeling when performing the tasks. An example of this is in the panel of 9:00 AM, it shows me sitting at a study table studying/doing my online classes. The time does not change until 12:00 PM, indicates that I was working between 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM before cooking brunch. There are two square panels that has two different timelines. This is meant to demonstrate two different events occurring within the same space of the apartment. An example of this is in the light purple and blue panel (12:30 PM and 7:20 PM) it depicts me eating brunch at 12:30 PM with my roommate, and then later that night, we at dinner together at 7:20 PM).

For my comic, the tools that I used to illustrate my story includes: the pen tool to draw out non-geometrical shapes such as the body or the cat and the character’s hair. The curvature tool to draw out the “heat” radiating out of the food and the white string on the cat’s toy. Text tool to add text into the comic such as the time for the individual panels and title of the comic. The line tool to draw a straight line. The brush tool where I changed the texture of the brush to be more “stringy” looking to make it seem like they were noodles. The shape tool (rectangle tool to create the panels, flooring, tables and chairs, my bed, and refrigerator and cabinet. Spiral tool for the burner on the stove top. Ellipse tool for the character’s heads, kitchen and dining equipment. Polygon tool for the character’s body. And rounded rectangle toll for the couches table mat, the fridge’s doors, books, computer, and beddings). And lastly, gradient and 3D effect tool to create some 3-dimentional effect on some of the objects within the comic.

This week’s comic, although the style of it is not as wordy and detailed as my week 13 comic, but it is not as simple as my week 14 comic, the biggest challenge that I had to face was creating a comic that portray all of the information that I wanted to express without the use of too much words. For all my comics, it tells a story about my life. However, the difference between this week’s comic versus my previous two is that this week’s comic plays a compilation of my every day’s life whereas the previous two only captured one specific event in my life that is now part of my memory rather than truly expresses my everyday personality.

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