Saturday, April 30, 2011

Announcements (x3)

1. Jake Wyatt will be taking the reigns to teach us his comic book making process for the Image comic book he is artist for "Hawaiian Dick". He will also be talking about how he "makes stuff up" in terms of creating stories. Wednesday 4 May.

2. Also this Wednesday, Catherine Wyatt (the most well-read female who I've ever met) will take some time to talk about her experiences finding good reads in such a male-dominated genre as comics.

3. Free Comic Book Day is next Saturday, 7 May. This is not mandatory, but for those available to go, we'll plan a trip out to Night Flight Comics in Murray, and meet some local comic book stars.

Free Comic Book Day 2011 @ Night Flight Comics

Free Comic Book Day is a single day - the first Saturday in May each year - when participating comic book shops across North America and around the world give away comic books absolutely FREE to anyone who comes into their stores.

Both locations of Night-Flight Comics are proud to participate in Free Comic Book Day on Saturday, May 7th, 2011. See Night Flight link to see what artists are attending and for more info.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Course Description

This course is called “Graphic Novel Appreciation”. Its goal is to help the artist develop as a visual thinker via comics (and related) mediums – we’ll accomplish this through analyzing select graphic novels as they relate to visual story-telling, as well as class discussion and creative application exercises.

Class Content

1. One day of the week we'll organize specific topical discussions of or relating to comics. You'll also be responsible for providing one in-class oral presentation (see assignment 6).

2. The other day of the week, through small projects, we will draw comics (individual and group). It is best to use this time to work on skills that will aid you in completing the drawing portion of your project final.

3. Out of class we'll respond to our discussions about how it relates to comics you've read, and if possible, to your personal work (see assignments 3 and 4).

4. Through out the semester you'll be working on a project final (see assignment 5).


You will be graded on 3 things:

1. Class participation.

2. Assignments.

3. Punctuality.

Grading in "plain-english":

Turn in all assignments (including final) on time and in a standard of quality representative of your respective majors, plus full participation which includes leading an oral discussion on a film clip, and you'll get in the A range.

Turn in all assignments (including final), plus full participation which includes leading an oral discussion on a film clip; BUT a certain portion of your assignments are late, and you'll get in the B range.

Missing assignments will lead to the C or possibly the D range.

Disappear off the face of the earth mid semester, sans an obituary, will lead to an F.

1 absence acceptable and will not impact grade, any more that that will require a relevant third-party note of excuse turned into me in hardcopy or by their email account. Every absence without note of excuse will have a single drop in final grade [e.g. (A) -> (A-); (B-) -> (C+), etc., etc.].
Completion of quality assignments and attendance is your bulk grade. Second to that would be turning assignments in on time.
I think this is fair considering the nature of the arts professional, plus the fact that late assignments negatively impacts my ability to read and asses your work, and puts me significantly behind schedule.

Assignment 1 & 2 (once) - Syllabus & Best Coolest

1. Become an author of this blog.
2. Answer the questionnaire I handed out in class, and post a link to your answers with the title "Best Coolest + (your name)". Label this post = Best Coolest
3. Read at least up to page 23 of Making Comics by Scott McCloud.
4. Read the Course Description that I posted on this blog, and review your notes.
5. For the "Syllabus + (subtitle)" response, let's keep it simple: Tell me one aspect about comics that you are most interested in learning. I will use this info to prioritize the specifics in class content. The depth and means by which you choose to respond is up to you. Don't forget to label this post = Syllabus


Bring drawing tools of your choosing for Monday's class, as we will be getting into our first creative application project.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Assignment 3 (weekly) - Reading Responses

The Class will be assigned 6* specific Graphic Novels. We’ll rotate the books around so that each of you gets a chance to read and respond to one novel a week. In order to do a proper response, you will need to understand Orson Scott Card’s “M.I.C.E. Quotient”, Freytag’s “Five-Part Dramatic Structure”, and a willingness to explore the unfamiliar!


For the title of the post use the title of the reading along with your first and last name.

For the labels use: Your first and last name, book title, and type in: Responses

1. Analyze: Choose one of the six following that have not, for the book you are reading, been chosen before by another student:

(a) Milieu – rate as “primary” or “secondary”

(b) Idea – rate as “primary” or “secondary”

(c) Character – rate as “primary” or “secondary”

(d) Event – rate as “primary” or “secondary”

(e) Rising Action

(f) Falling Action

Explain (a, b, c, d, e, or f) in terms of the Graphic Novel you are responding to.

2. Springboard: This is in 2-steps. First, Identify the specific knowledge or know-how the writer had to know in order to tell this story (example: Hellboy = African mythology of Anansi the spider, Tank Girl = Homer’s Odyssey). Secondly, go off and do light research into that field of knowledge to discover one thing you did not know before, share that newfound knowledge with us (keep it short).

3. Apply (optional for first 2 reviews, mandatory for last 4): Apply your newfound knowledge in some way to your own Story Treatment**. You can be as specific or as vague as you like.

4. optional Rating: Give the story a rating (G, PG, PG-13, R), give one or two specifics justifying why, include page #'s.

ALSO: A note on post edits.

As you post your responses I will be commenting on them, and in some cases, asking for necessary adjustments to your response.

While I do ask that you edit your original posts, please DO NOT ERASE ANY PORTION OF THE ORIGINAL POST.
Rather, what you should do is add completely new paragraphs to it, and title new content with headers that say "Edit:"

*6 novels to read, I have prepared some substitutions.

**Story Treatment is your personal project that is a part of your final.

Monday, April 25, 2011

M.I.C.E. Quotient

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Assignment 4 (weekly) - Making Comics Reference

(Post Title: "Making Comics - (book title)", Label: "Making Comics", "your first and last name")

1. You are assigned to read, in order from the beginning, about 25 pages a week of Scott McCloud’s Making Comics.

2. Via blog post, describe a principle talked about in that week’s reading of Making Comics that appears in the graphic novel you are reading.

3. Keep the post description to about two sentences. Include (1) the name of the principle talked about in Making comics and specifically how it is applied, (2) the page #[s] you are talking about in the graphic novel, and (3) it is also mandatory for you to scan the example pages from the graphic novel and include them in the post (see examples).

Friday, April 22, 2011

Assignment 5; Final Project (weekly) - Comic Book Treatment in 4-Parts

Label “Treatments”

Post title: “(Title of Story) by (Name)”

-These are weekly stages:

1. Idea

2. Story

3. Appropriation

4. 1st draft, 2nd draft

-One post only: re-edit original post every week as you complete each stage

1. Idea stage: (Consider Orson Scott Card’s Chapter on World Creation – 1. Where Ideas Come From.) Write 2 one-sentence ideas. Come up with 2 seemingly unrelated ideas, with the intention that the two ideas will combine into one story (which you'll deal with in stage 2). Also, please note where each idea came from (i.e. dream, news, doodling, watching or reading something, etc.). 1 week to complete.

2. Story stage: (Consider Freytags Five-Part Dramatic Structure) Write a 5-sentence synopsis. Write a sentence for (1) Back-story, (2) Rising action, (3) Climax, known as the “turning point” (4) Falling Action, and (5) Denouement. !! Big Picture vs Short Story: Some of you will be working on really big ideas, stories that could take hundreds of pages to tell - this could pose a serious problem for you during stage 4. of this final assignment, because you will have to create a 3~30 page beta comic based off of this 5 sentence synopsis. So if your story is too big for a short story comic, you will need to write an additional 5-sentence synopsis of a Short Story that takes place in the Big Picture. 1 week to complete.

Example for Big Picture & Short Story all-in-one:

(1) The Turtle and the Shark is one of the most popular Samoan legends. (2) It tells the story of a man and a woman who are to be separated by the King Malietoafaiga. (3) To avoid separation, they flee to another island. (4) However, fearing their act of disobedience would bring dishonor on their families, they willingly gave up their lives at the cliffs of Vaitogi. (5) The gods had mercy on them and transformed them into a turtle and a shark to live together, forever. (c) Ryan Woodward 2009

Example for Big Picture story synopsis with an additional Short Story synopsis:

Big Picture: (1) When a rogue faction of an advanced alien race invades the inhabitants of an early industrial planet, the alien’s peaceful faction initiates a premature first contact in hopes to offer protection. (2) But because alien resources are limiting, society is gathered into major cities; the alien protectors must limit their hand in technological advancement despite the dangerous and strange things that are happening everywhere. (3) As a result from these two races living together, a handful of individuals across the planet, both native and alien, are forced to deal with a strange metamorphosis as they begin to develop peculiar abilities – abilities that were the rogue faction’s aim since the beginning. (4) While estranged on both sides, it becomes clear that these special individuals are the key to stopping members of the rogue faction – most of who have full command of these new abilities. (5) Conflict leads to the uncovering of the planet’s secret origin – leaders of the aliens and natives acknowledge that they are on the brink of a new evolution, and that they are in it together. (c) Jared Greenleaf 2011

Short Story (30 or less pages): (1) A doubtful young alien-girl hybrid, who is an alien ambassador, is on route via the ropeway to deliver the all important (hand-sized) detection device to a city recently connected to the ropeway system. (2) A “grinner” attacks; taking two “guardians” out, the girl is next. (3) She surprises herself (and the grinner) by putting up an amazing fight – with powers she never thought she had. (4) The grinner is too powerful and is about to finish her off, but decides to take off - reinforcements arrive. (5) The ambassador reaches the city, puts on a strong show to distance herself from the city leaders; the first moment she is alone she breaks down crying. (c) Jared Greenleaf 2011

3. (a) Appropriation & Style test + (b) Short story supplement stage: Find a place in Provo (or the surrounding area, or from pictures of a place from your hometown growing up, or a place you’ve visited and have photo or sketch documentation), and appropriate that place into a scene in your world. Make a fully-realized three-panel style example, and while you don’t need to push any sort of plot or narrative, at least one panel needs text. In this stage of the assignment, you will give us a taste of what your finished comic will look like in terms of style and execution.


(c) Jake Wyatt 2011

In addition to the 3 panel style example, you will need to answer these 4 questions:

What is your story's (b1) dominant MICE quotient?

(b2) Primary Conflict?

(b3) Theme?

(b4) Major World rules and limitations?

I'll post an example on Miazaki's Nausicaa here.

1 week to complete both parts (a) and (b).

!! Make a NEW POST for your Beta Comic. Make sure the post title has the word Beta Comic in it !!

(Blogger has irritating bugs when it comes to adding a lot of images to an existing post, which is why its easier to just make a post exclusively for your Beta Comic)

4. Beta comic Stage: Create a 3~30 page beta comic (beta-comic example). Go over the Paul Pope example that is posted. In addition to that is Jake Parker's well thought out presentation on Panel Layout. And finally, you can also refer to the Short Story Comic Examples provided on the column of this blog. Then, rough out a 1st draft on your own. Post it so that I can make a brief check on readability. Taking into account my notes, work on readability and then post your 2nd draft. 1st draft due 1 week after part 3.; final draft due last day of class.

-Note that while 2 is contingent on 1, and that 4 may be contingent on 2 & 3, there is nothing stopping you from starting on 3 as soon as possible, as that has to do more with a look and feel than it does the development of a story from an idea.

By the end of this final, you will have the components to create a very sustainable property or treatment - Check out Catfish Deluxe for great examples of this.

(extra) 5. Don’t Stop! From here on out its up to you; come up with goals, work parallel to other story-makers, give and receive help, keep in contact! Now you're ready to take the sequential-art class provided by the Illustration Area.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Story Supplement (part 3. of final)

Important questions to ask yourself after you've got your basic story, but before you start to work out the panel by panel details.

Here it is:

What is the story's (a) Dominant MICE quotient?

(b) Primary Conflict?

(c) Theme?

(d) Major World rules and limitations?

I'll use Miazaki's film Nausicaa as an example:

(a) Idea: Man versus nature - Man's place in nature. Why do humans often come into conflict with nature and what are the solutions to overcome this?

(b) Fear: Fear of the unknown, fear for one's own survival, and the consequences associated with acting out in fear.

(c) Love: The only way to overcome the obstacles in life is to act out of love. You destroy your enemies by turning them into your friends, and you begin to understand the mysteries surrounded about you by thinking/acting on behalf of those around you before you act for yourself.

(d) Giant insects/spreading toxic forrest = man is not the dominant species on the planet, our lives become more fragile. Warring nations = freedom to choose way of life can be restricted. Ancient technology is unearthed = a few people can gain control over many, pushes an oligarchical system of rule.


You might see a loose connection here. Pointing out your (a) story emphasis will lead to questions like (b) why it is and (c) how is it solved? And then we have to think of the (d) method of execution in telling our story. This connection may or may not be there, but it's certainly important to investigate.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rough "Beta Comics" Format (part 4. of final)

Rough "Beta Comics" Format

Method: Visually readable, fully realized composition / placement / proportion.
In other words, you would be available to work towards your finished comic directly over this via tracing table or digital.

The following info is provided by artist Paul Pope (100%)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Assignment 6 (once) - Film Clips w/ Oral Presentation (sign up here)

Sign up for a Wednesday during this term and present a 20 minute discussion focussing on film clip, and then relate it to comics. The clip does not have to be a comic book adaption.
SIGN UP by adding a comment on this post with the date you would like to do this - This is a mandatory part of this class that will affect your grade.

May 11, 18, 25, June 1, 8 - first come first serve, no more than 3 people on one day.