Comm 203 Graphic Novel Blog

Earlier on in the semester of my Intro to Communications and New Media class, I was asked to create a graphic novel.  Although I was excited about the assignment, I had some reservations.  I consider myself to have a fairly good imagination, but was not totally sure of my abilities as a graphic novelist.  Not only did I have to come up with a story line, but I also had to obtain pictures and use only short phrases or quotes to tell the story.  For me, this seemed very overwhelming and challenging.  Basically, I was going to have to tell an entire story through a series of pictures.  However, once I began creating my graphic novel, it became increasingly easier.  What started out as a hard, difficult challenge was turning into a fun, creative way for me to express myself.
When trying to determine a story for my graphic novel, I decided to choose a rather simple and familiar story line, that of the Three Little Pigs.  After changing the setting and characters and keeping the basic story line, I had my very own story.  It was entitled “The Three Little People” and was about three brothers who each decided to build a separate house on the beach.  The first brother built his house quickly without securing it, the second brother built his house solely on appearance, but the third brother took the time to build a safe and secure home.  Then, one day a hurricane approached the beach and left the first two brothers homeless and unsafe.  Fortunately, the third brother generously took his brothers into his safe house until the hurricane passed.  By the end of the story, all three brothers learned the importance of hard work and safety.
The major point of the graphic novel was to use it as a mode of communication.  I was expected to tell an entire story with pictures, a few short captions, and quotes.  The main focal point of the story was the pictures, though.  The captions and quotes were there to guide the story, but the pictures did the actual story telling.  The pictures had to fit together and appear in a way that was aesthetically and visually pleasing to the eye but also organized and appropriately placed.  It was a challenge, but with the assistance of the Comic Life application, it was possible.  Although I retrieved the pictures from many different places, I was able to make them all look similar by using the same effect style.  The effects were helpful in making the graphic novel look professional and pleasing, and it was my job to organize and arrange them to tell the story in a way that was easy for a reader to understand.  Because not all individuals are visual learners, the challenge of a graphic novel is to appeal to all kinds of learners.  Even though pictures are geared to a visual learner, for a graphic novel to be successful, the pictures and their placements must speak to many.  This is also where captions and quotes can be very helpful in guiding a story.
Graphic novels are a very interesting and challenging mode of communication.  They can be fun to make, but also difficult.  For a graphic novel to be successful, it must appeal to many and be understandable.  Applications like Comic Life make it possible for anyone to create and explore the world of graphic novels.  Successfully telling a story mainly by a series of pictures takes much talent and determination.  However, when the work is complete, it is very rewarding.  Graphic novels are great modes of communication that may not be used widely enough.


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