Comic Narrative Module
The comic narrative module has assisted a lot in the growth of my personal knowledge and has allowed me to experiment in my art style as well as giving me a first-hand opportunity to get out of my comfort zone and work together with the children of Parkroyal school who were amazingly imaginative and incredibly harsh critics.
Over summer we were asked to make funny one panel comics, such as the type you might see on a funny greetings card or within Private Eye. These were the concepts I came up with
This idea was inspired by seeing my partner who had clearly tried to overpack when visiting my house over Summer. I wanted to try and do a sketchy style for this piece to add to the messy idea.
My main problem with this piece was that the punchline wasn't particularly clear. It was inspired by "The Thinker" statue and the idea of overthinkers packing too much when going on holiday.
This was the second of my comics and the joke again didn't seem to land particularly well as most people consider Marvel to be quite mainstream these days. Also that the football in the right hand stream isn't very clearly as some of my classmates didn't recognise it.
My struggle here I think was that I'm not very well versed in mainstream and it's very subjective what people will view as mainstream from person to person, making it hard to research.
As a class we entered the young cartoonist of the year, primarilly for political and funny artists, both of which I am certainly not. Therefore, I produced work about something I found quite relevant to myself.
The piece is based off of the "Take the money and run" art pieces done by Jens Haaning which had just come out at the time. Jens was commissioned $84,000 by the KUNSTEN Museum of Modern Art in Denmark. The artist then proceeded to deliver two enormous blank canvases labelled "Take the money" and "Run" I personally found the idea quite funny as I spent a lot of time at college being looked down on by people because I worked in a cartoon style when everyone wanted realism. Watching someone take a stab at the fine art world's culture was really satisfying to watch.
I designed this panel to represent how I often saw the art community always saying that the sale of abstract pieces was more of a charisma-based task than a genuine artistic talent.
4 Panel Gag Strip
This strip was inspired by my lived experience and time blindness that I know a lot of people of my generation relate to. While I understand the adult perspective of "These kids can't put their phones down" I also very much understand the younger generation's perspective of not wanting to miss a thing and losing track of time entirely.
This one is the most recent form of pocket cartoon I've done and I'd gladly say I've come a long way in my development of ideas and style. I was able to explore a variety of art styles and figure out what the most efficient and easy to look at layout is. I hope that reflects well in this final product of the pocket comics within the module.
We worked alongside Parkroyal School to create a three page comic, utilizing the imagination of the kids who gave us a rainforest creature and explorer that we had to work with and create a cohesive story with.
I had the luck to visit the children themselves and see their genuine reactions to our comics when we returned to the school with them weeks later. It was an excellent experience that I was grateful to be part of.
The Connected Uni comic was a brief made for the purpose of showing different elements of student life to prospective students. My specific prompt was the nature reserve which I visited a fair few times in the first year as during Covid it was one of the only places I could go. I grew up in the countryside of Cheshire and I felt pretty overwhelmed living in a city for the first time so I tried to make a comic that reflected my feelings about having a nature reserve I could escape to.
How has your work evolved during this module?
I feel that this module has given me a lot of chance to test out new styles of art, different forms of comics and a vast quantity of new writing techniques and methods to stay motivated while working on larger projects. I feel like I have a better understanding of how to covey ideas in much fewer panels than I did previously and Claire has largely helped my personal projects too which have evolved to something a little more sophisticated now
In context, please outline your contribution to the Parkroyal Project.
Within the Parkroyal Project I was one of the lucky few who was able to attend the school itself and get first-hand experience of what it’s like to work with the children and they are certainly tough customers, I think it’s been a good set up for life in industry where an idea can change at any turn and you can get any form of criticism and you have to take it. One of the children criticized my design that it looked like “Magma not Lava” and with comments like that you have to take it in stride. I created a three-page story based off of the two designs I was given which were “The ghost of Bob Ross with lava hair and eyes of death” and “Fluffy pink space birds” I was able to design character concepts and a swift story with a set-up, conflict and ending based on the drawings provided to me by the children.
Please Provide a design problem you encountered and how you resolved this
My main problem with this project was coming up with a story, I was entirely stumped on what to do, Gareth brought his daughter (one of the current school students) in to talk to us and she brought up the concept of giving him a magic paintbrush that could bring things to life. I recall reading a children’s book like that when I was little and the idea of doing something similar then made my life considerably easier as I could give some kind of weapon to my protagonist. I had an image of this big set-piece panel that would include big splashes of rainbow paint with animals erupting from the brush to scare away the bad guy. You can now see that idea in the second page of the comic and I’m very pleased with how it turned out especially as it’s very out of my comfort zone to draw animals.
Who is the audience for your single panel cartoon and how have you tried to appeal to this audience?
My single panel cartoon was made to appeal to others like me who are critical of the fine art industry, I know a lot of cartoonists feel much the same which is why I felt it was a strong topic for a young cartoonists award competition. A lot of other sectors of art tend to look down on comic or cartoon artists as they see it as easy or simplistic, I think the simplicity is part of what makes cartoons, especially these small gag ones so charming, in less strokes, they make more people happy than a few thousand stroke piece could hope to achieve and I find a simple joy in that.
I tried to keep my piece simpler than some of my usual work for that exact reason, I wanted it to be clear that it’s a gag strip as to be noticed by the cartoonist audience I’m going after.
Please provide one example of working collaboratively over this module.
In most every class I sit next to Daisy Lock who I really enjoy sharing work with, during one of our script writing tasks we had to write a script based on a pre-existing comic, then hand that script to our partner, both Daisy and I managed to create work that looked very similar to the source material which was something we took great pride in. I’d say there’s a fair few people on the course who I’d gladly collaborate with, Daisy and I also spent a lot of time brainstorming ideas together and creating interesting concepts for our one-panel comics.