7.3 Choosing the form (style) When idea and plot are created, the next step is to decide on form and style. The visual style of comics is determined by line types, colours, visual references and recurring images. There are different forms of comics: Strips are comics that consist of a few horizontal panels, often published in newspapers or on the Internet (in Chapter 8, Exercises 14, 15 & 16 show how to draw a comic strip). This will be the main focus for workshops. Web comics are the most up-to-date form that is quickly spreading through the Internet, often by authors themselves through their blogs or web sites. Some web comics incorporate interactive elements. Other forms are described briefly in Chapter 10, Terminology. Visual style of comics Comics can be realistic or abstract; they can be made classically – drawn or painted with pencil or brush
– without drawing, in for example the form of photos or collage). Each person needs to find their own style. Many established visual styles have special iconography and visual effects: - Cartoon-like: a traditional comics style; it uses exaggeration and other comic effects, as well as changes in lines. It can appear “bubbly”. - Realistic: imitates real life in forms and images. - Manga: a Japanese style in which classic Japanese art blends with American comics art. The word “manga” consists of two characters meaning “funny story in pictures”. - Experimental: anything! Sometimes such comics are very weird. Without drawing - Collage: combines pictures cut from magazines, ads, souvenirs, papers, etc. - Photos: every comics frame is set up and photographed, as in film-making.
7.4 The storyboard The term “storyboard” comes from the USA and means a sequence of pictures that help to create films. A comics storyboard is a sketched plan of a page. It is drawn in pencil, indicating the content and placing of each frame. It is usually developed in two stages. Large comics usually also have text scenarios. A written scenario could be a separate interesting educational assignment. But even without a written scenario, the start is always a storyline: the ‘plot’ of your story. It has several aspects, including location, characters, and a lot of little details that add flavour. Atmosphere. The atmosphere is created through a combination of the location and the author’s worldview. The latter means how the author sees the world through her/his feelings and beliefs; it is an entry-point to the readers’ emotions and feelings. Location should not be neglected, because it can strongly reinforce the atmosphere; just adding scenic details to the picture is often enough to bring out new ideas..
Characters are generally created in one of two ways: - There is someone (a real person) who evokes
A guide for leaders of workshops for comics for sustainable development