Task 3: Evaluation

Narrative Structure

My graphic narrative features a linear, anti-realist narrative.

The narrative follows a purple dragon and the beginning of his day. The components features denote the opening, motivation and a climax.

The narrative opens with Dragon waking up and opening his curtains to reveal a sunny day. This sets the scene for the reader.

Excitedly, Dragon searches under his bed and reveals to the reader his kite that he finds. This features his motivation to find something to do with this sunny day, and the frame in which he is under his bed creates suspense and anticipation from the audience, as they will be intrigued by his action. When Dragon reveals his kite, this deflates the suspense and allows the reader a sense of equilibrium.

Dragon then sits upset on his floor as he realises it’s started to rain and can no longer go outside with his kite. This disrupts the equilibrium and creates a climax, urging the reader to continue on to find the resolution.

Image Construction

After experimenting with Photoshop and watercolours, I decided to use a rustic and hand-drawn approach to illustrating my narrative. I found this aesthetically pleasing and would also allow the young reader to relate to the imagery, as it is something they could create themselves.

In my Photoshop experimentation I also played with textures and this inspired me to use a range of drawing techniques to add life to my drawings.

dragon FINISHES PHOTOSHOP

Historical and Cultural Context

For the ease of evaluation, I have referred to the protagonist of my narrative as “he”, however my character could be of any gender. I coloured the dragon as purple to appear gender-neutral to create a diverse character any child can relate to and enjoy. This allows my narrative to appeal to all races, genders and sexualities and does not cause offence.

Historically, dragons are one of the oldest mythical creatures to have been invented, and their stories date back to ancient Asian and European mythology. They are mentioned amongst all cultural mythology in one way or another, making my dragon character easily recognisable worldwide. This is a strong marketing technique as, combined with the lack of text, this comic can be produced around the world and appreciated by all cultures.

Production Processes

I mentioned in Task 1 why I hand-illustrated my comic. This was due to my poor PhotoShop competency, however upon reflection, I am content with my final product.

My comic appears amature, however I like this style of art and appreciate its aesthetic qualities.

I found this method to be more time-effective also and a much more enjoyable process, however if this comic was to be mass-produces, the digital method I experimented with would be more appropriate.

Ideas Generation

I was inspired to create this mode of graphic narrative by my three-year-old sister’s endless collection of children’s books and magazines.

Ideas Generation

I was inspired to create this mode of graphic narrative by my three-year-old sister’s endless collection of children’s books and magazines.

Research

I found that my sister interacted the most with magazines, and the elements of the magazine that featured her favourite characters in new narratives that she hasn’t heard or read before. Her favourite elements of her magazines are the comic strips that feature easy-to-follow images and simplistic narrative.

Once I had decided to create a children’s comic, I then generated ideas to determine my target audience and intended storyline.

Group Discussion

I had a group discussion to discuss the ideas I had for my comic book and gain feedback and further inspiration and ideas. The participants of the discussion were my father (Phil), my sister’s mother (Lorna) and my sister (Sophie, 3).
This focus group was highly successful, as Lorna and Phil are knowledgeable about what their children respond to and interact with successfully.

Lorna praised my idea as she works with young children and was able to confirm that a narrative featuring a well-known character will be successful. She did, however, mention that the children she works with enjoy bright and boldy illustrated imagery that would have to be created graphically on programmes such as PhotoShop.

Sophie and Phil were able to confirm that Sophie’s favourite character is a stuffed toy of a character from the film How To Train Your Dragon. Sophie, however, does not associate her toy with the film and has called it “Dragon”. Her portrayal of “Dragon” reminds me of Winnie The Pooh, as she personifies it and gives it a voice.

Mindmap

Sophie’s Winnie The Pooh-like portrayal of her toy inspired me to create a soft, contemporary illustrative style for my comic. This idea also originated as my Photoshop skills are not the strongest and I wanted to utilise my drawing abilities.

Below is the simple mindmap of inspiration I created to gauge what style of illustration I wanted to produce.

mindmap.png

Design Origination, Media, Considerations and Pre-Production

The image in the corner of my mindmap inspired my narrative to feature simplistic images and no speech. I found this comic aesthetically pleasing as it conforms to a “less is more” mentality from the artist without sacrificing the telling of the story. This comic strip was my main inspiration and I emulated the artists style and used the kite as inspiration for the narrative in my story.

Storyboard

I storyboarded my narrative once I had decided to use “Dragon” as my protagonist. I wanted to keep my narrative easy to follow and highly visual, so I created a page-by-page storyboard of my narrative, featuring Dragon excitedly getting ready to go out to play with his kite, but to his dismay it begins to rain.

Presentation2

This process also allowed me to experiment with watercolours.

Photoshop Experimentation

After storyboarding my idea with watercolours, I considered using this as a base to build a cartoon-styled comic instead, as Lorna has mentioned their popularity with my target audience.

dragon FINISHES PHOTOSHOP.jpg

I found this process to be lengthly and took away the rustic and warm tone my original idea had.

Technology

With the use of new technologies, my comic could easily be created into a cartoon comic. This would be a cost-effective way of producing my comic also, as it does not require utensils such as pencils and paper to create. It can be created quickly and effectively using computer software, and the illustrative style can be emulated by multiple personnel easily, rather than one sole artist being able to draw the character effectively. This technique could allow my comic to progress into a series or longer narrative.
Using an original character like Dragon allows me to avoid legal complications such as copyright. Dragon is also a family-friendly character that is highly unlikely to offend or need regulation from authorities.