Feb 132013
 Posted by on February 13, 2013 Visual Story 4 Responses »

Hi, haven’t seen anything up here on the site, so I was wondering if a meeting did happen, and if so, what was discussed? If the style of art is going to be realistic, then I want to start researching setting as soon as I can. Even if we don’t have a plot together, knowing what time period will give me something to work on. Or the general style, we don’t have to be realistic, we could have stylish stick figures a la XKCD. But I really like the look of Watchmen and the Film Noir idea… all in all, the choice of aesthetic has to go well with the kind of story told. I’m no good at conjuring a written tale from mist, but I’m in several classes now about how to better tell stories. So I’m very eager to tell our tale! I leave it to the English majors among us to sew the seeds of story, though.

Feb 112013
 Posted by on February 11, 2013 Visual Story 2 Responses »

Hi everyone.  I know this project won’t officially be “due” for a long time, but I don’t want us to scramble at the last minute and wind up with something mediocre.  By the end of this week I think we should figure out what kind of story we want to tell and start with the writing process.  It’s going to take Watkins a long time do draw whatever we come up with so for his sake let’s try to pace ourselves.  I think that anyone interested in writing should come up with an idea of what they’d like the comic to be.  Someone else liked my idea of a Sin City-style noir, but nothing’s set in stone so let’s try to get a few different ideas to choose from.  If everyone’s ok with meeting after the 10 AM class on Wednesday to share our ideas, I think we should do that.  Please comment if you have any questions.

Feb 082013
 Posted by on February 8, 2013 Visual Story 3 Responses »

On the afternoon of January 22, I shared the following missive on The Graphic Novel’s Canvas Announcement board:

Hello fellow Jokerz,

My name is Watkins, I am a Senior Studio Art major, and I love reading Graphic Novels.  I’ve studied them for some time with the intent of eventually writing and drawing my own (which is an incredibly time-intensive endeavor).

I hope you are all mildly enthused by the idea of working creatively together.  I want to create a blog website, or other group-friendly social media meeting ground so that we can easily and convienently communicate in text form (making it convienient to look back on past discussion and idea generation, and more difficult to misconstrue participation levels).  I have some WordPress experience and could set up a blog on my domain or UMW blogs (matters if you would prefer .ampersanddragon.net or .umwblogs.org)  I imagine UMW blogs would be convienient since we all have to be members to blog on TGN site, but I didn’t want to do anything without consulting the group.  We could use twitter to start, before setting up a website.  #TheJokerZ

As soon as we agree on a place to host discussion, we can start discussing!  If you are at all intimidated or unsure about being creative, browse the categories sidebar at MakingComics.com.  It’s filled with useful tips from passionate people.


p.s.  do we all like the name “The Jokerz”?  how about TEH JOKERZ (sic, with backwards K)?  Or we could change our group name entirely:  “_____” formerly known as The Jokerz.

Having recieved no communique for over a week, I began a comic experiment in relation to another class.

Chapter 1: Encounter.

It is a fun experiment, my first comic.  I’ve learned more about the necessity of revisions in just one page than I ever imagined.

I was very glad to have in-class contact with other group members, as well as this reply on the 4th of February:

Hi, my name is Josh.  I think that the name “The Jokerz” is fine.  I was thinking about how we could make our webcomic and I have a few ideas about how I could contribute.  I’m a English Major and my concentration is in Creative Writing so obviously I could help out with writing in some way.  I also worked pretty extensively with GIMP for an internship  so I’d also be more than willing to help out with the artistic direction of the comic.  I had a idea (which we probably won’t need because you can actually draw) that we could take photos and manipulate them so that they fit a particular style.  I was thinking we could go for sort of a Sin City-esque style — high contrast, and only using red, black, and white.  This might be jumping the gun a bit, but I think that as far as the story goes a gritty noir graphic novel like Sin City would be really cool to produce.  Even if we wind up using drawings, I could still manipulate them to give them that look.  Here’s a mock-up I did in GIMP so you can see what I have in mind stylistically: 

Comic Draft 8b


I’m thrilled that this aesthetic meshes well with one of my usual drawing techniques – inkiness.  This isn’t evident in the CAPYBARA&bird drawings, which rely more on texture and color.

hair clip sketch
1-16-13 sharing coffee with you.
beloved childhood pet
Alizarin, Betta Fish extraordinare RIP.
steampunk breakfast

These stills from time-lapse drawings may serve as a better example.  They were drawn digitally.  The inky style has great potental for drama by contrasting large textured areas of darkness with lighter detailed areas, especially when combined with color like Josh’s example.

This website should serve well a a simple, easily accessible forum for sharing images and ideas in the creation of our webcomic, and later be a making-of, to share as part of our presentation.

Two major decisions need to be made soon, as we start to develop our ideas:  How will our webcomic be formatted and what kind of story will we tell?  These ideas are inextricably linked.  Many webcomics retain the quasi-page rectangular format because the creators want to eventually make print copies to sell.  I doubt this is the case with our project, consequently we can be creative and make use of a format that will support our tale.  Whalen’s intent is that over a three-week period, webcomic posts will happen twice a week, so essentially six chapters/issues/pages is the size of the story.  A format that would be incredible to experiment with would be that of the infinite canvas as in The Wormworld Saga by Daniel Lieske.  It may seem daunting and forign, but the actual formatting/layout comic syntax is simpler because it doesn’t require page transitions.  It can give a little story more space.

I have few story content ideas, expect me to be more vocal when it comes to design and layout of the drawings.  As I’m not a fiction writer, my instinct is to find  existing content and adapt it as a comic.  A short story or brief novel (such as Alice in Wonderland) that is in the public domain could be the subject of a webcomic.

Let me know if anyone has difficulty accessing or posting to this page by way of flibberflabber@ampersanddragon.net.