Monday, 5 January 2015

Sequential Image Making: Storytelling - Comics

[This was supposed to have been posted a while ago, but has been sat as a draft article for some time]

The first task of the first half of this module involved producing a small comic strip of 6 panels.

Our narrative sequence was influenced by collage resources that we brought in to use and a guideline;
Panel 1: Introduce character  Panel 2: Place character in a setting  Panel 3: Introduce object/character Panels 4 & 5: Character and second character/object interact  Panel 6: Must include the text 'RUN!'

Harking back to the workshops with Rob G Fresson last year, this method is a great way of generating fresh and unique material to work with. However I'm not sure if I benefited from using the collage technique after about halfway through it's completion, as I had gained a general idea of how the story was going to pan out.
Though providing a stylistic influence, n some panels the limitations of my resources felt like they were stunting my use of composition. 

I had vikings on the brain after considering my brief for hallmark cards; so when I used an image of the classic British wrestler Giant Haystacks from a pop-culture magazine, I couldn't help but see some fur-garbed warrior. His dark features led to me creating a homage to the Marvel Comics supporting character Hogun the Grim, who in turn influenced my decision to create a Mongolian character.   

The abundance of space-themed illustrations and sci-fi images led me to set this character in space and introduce a robotic villain. I'm quite fond of Stan Lee's silver-age comics and his cheesy style of alliterative and superfluous narration. I wanted to parody that with my comic.

Visually I took inspiration from some of my sources, the concept artwork for the Cylons from Battlestar Galactica and poster art of ships. I'm a fan of the Transformers series of comics too and wanted to emulate a detailed style of drawing that communicates mechanical parts to go with the space theme.

I had decided that a limited colour palette would suit the style of drawing, inspired by a source image found in panel 3 of a robotic head.
Discussion with one of my tutors lead me to looking at french comic book artists, as he found that the detail of my drawings was reminiscent of them.

Cam Kennedy

Star Wars/200AD artist.
Lurid colour schemes. Bold inks.
I'll take inspiration from this guy with how to colour my space backgrounds. I think working with a bold colour palette will help to empahsise the oddity of my character design.

Jean Giraud/Moebius

Late artist and writer, specialised in sci-fi and fantasy comics, storyboard and concept work.
Generally line-art is heavy in detail rather than weight. Less contrast in colour palette and colours can be more muted. Though this varies piece-by-piece.

Both artists seem to use hand painted colours. It will be interesting to see if block digital colours will produce an effective image or not. Considering reproduction of the image also- will using a limited colour palette hinder the quality of my image also when it hasn't been drawn with those techniques in mind?

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