The scanner goofed up the borders, but here ya go. Enjoy!
Looks like Lord Tenebris is here to stay.
I hope this gives you some idea of what a saint my husband is. He continues to be willing to adventure with me! It’s mind-boggling!
This is in no way autobiographical. Nope. Not at all. *coughs*
You know how in all horror movies involving teenagers, they don’t have guardians? It’s always like a pack of teenagers just getting mowed down left and right, and the parents and the teachers and the neighbors either A) don’t notice or B) don’t believe or C) don’t function. It’s like all adults in the horror movie universe have the IQ of an eggplant.
Yeah. That trope. Urg.
This comic was A PAIN. Not because it’s in and of itself particularly difficult. (Although there were a few rather annoying technofails setting me back, and I finally just gave up on those purple dialog bubbles.) But just because this whole month has been a pain. (Thank goodness it’s nearly over. I could use a couple fewer commitments in my life right now.)
The first day late with the post, I was like, ‘It’s okay, I’ll just put it up late.’ And the second day, I was like, ‘Ah, geez, I should do some kind of apology bonus. Like a funny extra panel!’ And the third day, I was like, ‘Man, this is really late, I should color it or something.’ And the fourth day, I was like, ‘Maaaaybe I should just concentrate on posting it at all.’
By the end of the whole affair, I was about as annoyed as Nurse Linda. But I did manage a lame bonus doodle. Nurse Linda is so over this.
She keeps telling the principle to seal off the crypts. But nooobody listens to the nurse.
Hello, internet! Would you believe that the good folks at Pearl Creek Elementary School have once again trusted me to teach a writing class to the impressionable younglings they’ve sworn to instruct and protect? Because they have!
Two quarters ago, I did a NaNoWriMo group as part of the after school program. And I’m at it again this quarter, with a class about designing graphic novels. The idea is to help the kids design their own story, art, and layout style, which they can then spend the summer turning into a full graphic novel. (Haha, we’ll see if the lazy imps actually carry through with that part.)
And now, with this handy dandy post, you can follow along too!
Week One (last Tuesday): Story
We briefly talked about the difference between a graphic novel and a comic, and then about what makes a story. We did a little bit of brainstorming- talking about building a story based around a cool character, or a what if question, or whatever- and then set them loose. This group of twenty kids ranges in age from five to twelve, so there’s quite the skill span, but the beautiful thing about art is that it’s adaptable to all levels. They did great, and had fun decorating the covers of their workbooks.
Week Two (tomorrow! into the future!): Characters
Outline in hand, the kids will begin sketching their characters. Ideally, they’ll do sketches of their main cast from a few different angles, and do at least one sketch of any secondary characters, recurring pets, or whatever other livey-movey bits they plan to include. This will be their chance to decide how much detail they want in their art, and give them an idea of how much time that will take.
Week Three: Setting
Sketching the characters should give them a better idea of their art style, and so this week, we’ll hop into setting. I want them to sketch out at least two scenes in detail, and then do a couple smaller sketches of maybe the buildings or trees or whatever that will be populating their backgrounds.
Week Four: Layout
For this week, the students will begin thumbnailing the first few pages of their graphic novels, to get a feel for the amount of dialog, people, movement, panels, etc that will fit on a single page. We’ll also work on the visual pacing of their story, what style of panels/sound effects/speech bubbles/all the things they want to use, and how much action they want to leave in the gutter between the panels.
Week Five: First page, rough
The kids will start working on their actual first page this week. They’ll pencil in their panels, their characters, and the background, making sure to leave space for appropriate speech/thought bubbles, sound effects, etc.
Week Six: First page, final
In this the final week, students will ink their comics and put in all the finishing touches of color, text, whatever they’re going with. At the end of class, each student will be sent home with their workbook, containing all the outlining and sketching we worked on for the first four weeks, and a (hopefully) complete first page. And I’ll probably offer some kind of extravagant bribery to try to get them to come show me a completed graphic novel at the start of the next school year. They’ll all be really excited about it, but maybe one will actually take me up on it. We’ll see.
So that’s the plan!
The kids seem to be enjoying it so far (you know, one session in), and I am too. I plan to write about an Alaska Native girl who joins her middle school’s Pre-Pre-Med Club (someone on the internet should seriously give me a better name for this) and has to struggle through the prejudices and expectations of her primarily white peers and teachers to prove herself. Maybe I’ll throw up my first page at the end of the class for you all to admire!
In completely unrelated news, it’s another NaNo month! Yay, Camp! Between a few submission deadlines, the graphic novel class, and a month unusually full of obligations, I decided to go easy on myself and set a low goal; I’ll be writing at least ten short stories, weighing in at at least 30k. Totally do-able.
How about you fine internet folk? Anyone else out there doing camp? Lemme know your goals for the month so I can cheer you on!