Presentation on theme: "Association for Media Education in Scotland"— Presentation transcript:
1 Association for Media Education in Scotland Teaching Comic StripsRick InstrellDeep LearningVersion 1.01 June 2013Association for Media Education in Scotland
2 Multimodal Approach All communication is multimodal Every communication fulfils 3 functions:Ideational function (ideas, experiences)Interpersonal function (audience engagement)Textual/compositional function (unifying modal elements to fulfil other two functions)To analyse and create multimodally means understanding how modal elements are co-ordinated to engage the audience and communicate meaning
3 Modes A mode is a communication resource: Image Words Audio (music, sound, dialogue)LetteringColourLayout (on a page or through time i.e. editing)Body languageInteractionSensations (e.g. touch, smell)MovementLifelikeness…
4 Can think of cartoon style as existing on a linear scale: LifelikenessCan think of cartoon style as existing on a linear scale:RealismCaricatureAbstractionCharacters and setting may be similar or differentin how lifelike they are
5 COMIC STRIP TERMINOLOGY TitlePanel/frameSpeech bubbleSound effect/SFXBleedSymbols/emanataA CAPTION IS A BOX USED (USUALLY RECTANGULAR) FOR NARRATION: e.g.“MEANWHILE…”Speed/motion linesGutterTEXT IS USUALLY ALL IN CAPITALS
6 Cartoon Strip as Medium Cartoon strip: page-based story-telling through a sequence of frames containing text and imagesBecause comic strip is a sequence of frames similar to a filmed sequence of shots it uses film conventions: use of shot distance (ELS, LS, MS, MCU, CU, ECU) and angle (high, straight, low, canted); zoom in/out; shot-reverse shot; eyeline matchDirection: left-right, top-bottom (in West)Black and white or colourAll strips use similar basic conventionsComic strip artistry comes from:breaking basic conventions in expressive ways to represent character, emotion, situation, actiondistinctive artwork and lifelikenesscultural/intertextual references in image and language
7 Cartoon Strip Structures Micro-structures: inter-frame relationships: shot-reverse shot, zoom in/out, repetition, contrast, Q/A, moment-moment, action-action, subject-subject, scene-scene, aspect-aspect, non-sequitur, flash-forwards, flashback, …Macro-structures: Consistent style; narrative structure e.g. beginning (setting/ characters/ actions), middle (problem, effect), possible solution/cliffhangerComic strip narrative structure is often similar to that of mainstream film and television e.g. 4-act structure (setup, complication, development, resolution)So comic strips are a good place for pupils to start the study of narrative
8 MangaStyle that tries to make the audience identify with rather than simply observe actionIconic rather than realistic facesStrong sense of place e.g. near photographic real world detailSubjective effects e.g. motion lines, low/high angleBroad range of character designsExpressive design e.g. big close-ups, expressionistic montages and backgrounds
9 Analysing a Comic Strip Analyse a comic strip:Identify modal elements & their connotations/reasons for useIdentify genre and target readerIdentify stages in the narrativeEvaluate artistry (degree of lifelikeness, artwork, use of repetition & contrast, expressive breaking of basic conventions)Evaluate representations e.g. stereotypes, non-stereotypes
10 Creating a Comic Strip 1. Pre-production planning Identify purpose, target audience and genreCreate, evaluate and redraft storyboardDecide on degrees of lifelikeness of characters and settings2. ProductionCollect/capture/create bank of imagesEdit and store images in folder3. Post-productionUse appropriate software to create and redraft comic stripPrint and save in format for distribution (e.g. pdf)
11 Six-Panel StoryboardFrom Marchant, S. (2006) The Computer Cartoon Kit (with CD-ROM of images). Lewes: Ilex.Digital images & instructions provided!
12 DesignNeed to decide the style in terms of degrees of lifelikeness of characters and setting
13 Digital productionCreating/capturing/editing/storing images of characters, actions, props, settings based on style decisionsNeed some images to be cut-outs i.e. have transparent backgrounds which do not obscure the background
14 Cut-outs CD-ROMs from Ilex may provide cut-outs Some websites provide cut-outs e.g. Looney Tunes clip art (these copy and paste into PowerPoint but not ComicLifeMaking background transparent can be done using advance software such as Adobe Photoshop or the cheaper Adobe Photoshop Elements and Gimp (free)On-line tools are available to simplify the making of cut-outs e.g. free on-line image editor Lunapic
15 Cut-outs with Lunapic Go to www.lunapic.com Click on Upload then Browse to locate and load your imageSelect Edit>Transparent from menu bar (the Fuzz figure – default 5% - allows you to change the range of pixel colour to be removed (100% removes all pixels)Click on area that you want to make transparent (a fuzz factor of 5% will remove all pixels 2.5% lighter/darker than the one you chooseRepeat 3 and 4 until desired area transparent (alter fuzz factor if area is a gradient fill)Select File>Save Image and choose Save as PNGA message appears at foot of screen. To the right of the Save button click on the down arrow and choose Save As… . Give the file a meaningful name and save it in a folder in the Pictures folder (on a PC Pictures is the default image folder for many other graphics programs)N.B. If the surround colour is similar to colours in the part of the image you want it may make part of this transparent. This may need creative thinking for a workaround or better software!
16 Post-ProductionUse of DTP program (e.g. Microsoft Publisher) or comic strip program (e.g. Comic Life) to produce comic and add text
18 On-line ResourcesGraphic novelist Anina Bennett’s website Big Red Hair.Education Scotland on-line resource on comics & graphic novels.Comic scholar Mel Gibson’s website .Looney Tunes clip art (Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck et al).Marvel Comics on-line.Gilles Poitras provides librarians & teachers with up-to-date resources on manga & anime.
19 SoftwareThese are straightforward programs: (i.e. they avoid steeper learning curve for advanced tools like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Photoshop Elements):ComicLife for PC/Mac, $29.99 fromMicrosoft PowerPoint plus Microsoft Snipping ToolToonDoo, free online comic creator at
20 BooksBowkett, S. and Hitchman, T. (2012) Using Comic Art to Improve Speaking, Reading and Writing. London: Routledge.Helsby, W. (2005) Children’s Comics: A Teacher’s Guide & Classroom Resources. Leighton Buzzard: Auteur Publishing.Marchant, S. (2006) The Computer Cartoon Kit (with CD-ROM of images). Lewes: Ilex. Ilex Books has collections of digital clip art.McCloud, S. (1993) Understanding Comics. New York: HarperCollins.McCloud, S. (2006) Making Comics. New York: Harper.