Eventhough this semester is so stressfull, it is also provided with great opportunities. Such as the 2000 AD comics project that I discussed on the previous blog post, and a chance to collaborate with V&A Dundee Museum with their webcomics project. A little background, this project is a weekly webcomics that will be published across the museum’s digital channels. Which have criterias of bold storytelling, provocative and dynamic comic strips on a diverse range of subjects for young teens and up audiences. They spesifically delivered some requirements for this webcomics, such as:
- Strong visual style
- Distinctive voice and point of view
- Engaging narrative arc
- Optimised for an online experience
- Static set of four images in total (one released each week)
- Four single or multi panel strips
- No interactive content or animations
We as the content creator also given a freedom for this project and does not necessarily have to be related to the museum unless it is our choice for our webcomics.
So after the brief I started to do some brainstorming about the story of the comics and I come up with some ideas.
- Story About RSS Discovery Journey to the Antarctica: The main idea for this story is about the untold story of the Southern Journey, which is made by a local antarctica boy on his journal when the RSS Crew were struggling and battling for their life. The story will focusing on Captain Robert F. Scott RN who survived due to the heroism of the 19 dogs who pull 5 sledges during their journey. However, this story is not the best option for this webcomics project because I do not think I could manage and wrapped up the story for only 4 webcomics pages, so this will go to the archive and maybe I will do this story for next time.
- “Mantra”: This is an experimental bit that I came up with and inspired by a friend who suffered from Bipolar Disorder. Mantra itself has a meaning of a sacred utterance, a numinous sound, a syllable, word or phonemes, or group of words in Sanskrit believed by practitioners to have psychological and spiritual powers. Mantra meditation helps to induce an altered state of consciousness.This is the first sketch that I have in mind where it is just depicting a picture of a woman in her prayer with contrast black and white illustration to give a sense of duality and balance that often mentioned in meditation. Also to relate with the Bipolar Disorder that has two different states of Manic and Depressed state. I developed this idea into a story of a struggling woman who needs help but does not get enough of it, only thoughts and prayers. Which could result in a horrible loneliness and unwanted feeling.
However, this story is not compatible with the requirements, as this one does not have a distinct way of storytelling and a little bit hard to follow. Because the webcomics project will be published online, one each week for four weeks and this story cannot engage with the audience.
- A Small Hearted Dog: The main idea of this story is about a dog who nurtures the lice that live on his body. This dog love them so much and he treats them as his pet. The simplicity of this idea gives me a lot of space for development, and finally this story is the one that I chose to be my webcomics project.
After some brainstorming and sketches, I want to create a story about harmonious way of living. Which is represented by the life of this pug dog who does not want his master (the human) to treat him and banished the louse family. As well as how the louse family live harmoniusly despite there are two father figures, one mother and their loads of children. Then at the last panel there is a little bit of a twist, where the narrative questions the reader to live harmoniously.
My method on creating this comics is I make the sketch first by hand on paper, then I scan it all to be coloured digitally on SAI software. Initially I wanted to colour it manually as well with watercolour, but after some trials and practices I decide to do it digitally to get the best result.
After the colouring stage, I move to Adobe Photoshop software to do the lettering. Which after lots of hours of searching and contemplating for the best suitable font type for this comics, I decide to use Zitz font type. The font that based on the hand lettering in the King Features daily strip ‘Zitz’ by Jim Borgman and Jerry Scott. My decision to use this font also because in the last meeting with V&A representatives I got feedback to use a font that have some “scratchy” outlines that reflects my drawing style. Which looks like this: