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.


Isaac said...

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

Ever the science stickler,


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.


Matt Madden said...

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


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
Steve L.

julia townsend said...

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,