Sunday, October 21, 2007

A sketchbook comic

I'm going blog-mad, suddenly I have tons of stuff to post! Here's some actual art, a comic I've been working on in a sketchbook, in moments of spare time (click for a larger image):
The comic was drawing in a small format, 5" x 6" sketchbook, one panel at a time. I then scanned them and laid them out as a page. The story and art is constrained according to an assignment I give at the end of my "ink drawing" class at SVA. I wanted to try it out myself and make sure I thought it was worthwhile (I do). As assigned, the comic must be one page, inked, and incorporate the following elements into a coherent narrative of some sort:

-Three different settings: interior, urban, nature
-Two human characters
-One Animal

The theme of the comic must be: “an exchange”

For my own version I added a combinatorial constraint whereby each character is featured once on their own (son, polar bear, father) then in three pairs (son/bear, father/son, father/bear).

I had a notion--from a dream in fact--of a miserable alcoholic father rotting in some arctic outpost along with a weak-willed son so I decided to make them my starting point and add the polar bear as my animal. (It was that or a penguin... (In fact, penguins have figured more than a few times in my students' takes on this assignment)). I sort of fudged the "urban" setting, allowing myself the polar outpost in the first panel, but otherwise I'm pretty happy with the result. It reads like a condensed version of a longer narrative, a short story or possibly even a graphic novel, although I doubt I will pursue it any further.

If anyone wants to do a comic based on this assignment--or to assign it in a class--please feel free to. I would love to see the results.

6 comments:

Isaac said...

Of course, if you'd used a penguin, that would have been an Antarctic outpost...

Ever the science stickler,

Isaac

Hannes Pasqualini said...

Sounds like a great idea! I think I'll use this in class. I'll send you the results once I have them done!

Chuck Westbrook said...

Hi Matt,

Just wanted to let you know that I purchased a copy of your 99 book for my wife last year, and yesterday, it helped me get over writer's block on my blog.

I gave you props in the comments section, but I wanted to thank you here as well.

Cheers,
Chuck

Matt Madden said...

Thanks Chuck, it's nice of you to write.

Matt

Steve Lafler said...

HI Matt, just found your blog with a link from MR. Spurge, very enjoyable.
Will look for the link to sign up for updates
yers
Steve L.

julia townsend said...

Hi,
Just read the interview with you on the Panoptikon. I teach there with Marcelo. I shall remember this assignment next time I teach an illustration class! thanks,
Julia