This activity originally appeared on BeetleToothRadish.com, a source for simple living and creative, frugal activities.
Time to settle in and make some comics! This should take a little over an hour and a half, so give yourself some time to be present!
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To start, here’s a thought: Comics is the visual language of encoding and decoding realities. Nibble on that for a little while you work on this week’s excercise.
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Grab a pencil and make four square boxes. These will be your panels. However big you want. I typically make mine 3” by 3”.
If you’d like, grab 4 post it notes and use each note as a panel.
It’s time for some music. Put your audio player (mp3 player, computer, what have you) on shuffle. We’re looking for songs with lyrics. Take a moment and listen for a while. You’re encouraged to doodle on a separate sheet of paper or in a notebook while you listen.
Write a lyric in pencil that catches your interest in the first box. One sentence long, at the most. Single words are OK.
Repeat in 2nd box.
repeat in 3rd box.
repeat in last box.
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It’s time to draw and get our brains to start writing in pictures. I’d like you to make a 10 by 10 grid of 1/2” by 1/2” boxes and doodle out 100 things. One drawing in each box. 30 seconds on each box max. If you think telephone, draw how you represent the idea of “telephone”. Fill up all those boxes. Don’t stop drawing! If you’re lucky you can get to a point where you no longer think in words.(Credit goes to Ivan Brunetti for this activity.)
Your warm up is complete. Look at how many things you’ve drawn!
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It’s time to make the comics magic happen. Give yourself a half hour here. Now go back to your 4 boxes with lyrics. What could you draw in each box to connect these seemingly unconnected lyrics? Draw!
Do you want to rewrite your words? Would editing these words make things click together. How will you write these words? Will they appear captions? Will some character say them? You are welcome to not use the words in one panel.
This is the puzzle. This is where your heart and your wits come in. This is the challenge that only you can master.
It is my belief that if you make the goal of your comics the communication of funny, beautiful and or interesting ideas, you can make comics with any level of drawing ability. If you do them for long enough and think about them long and hard enough each time, you’ll make comics that you love to make.
Feel free to email your comics to firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like me to see them! Photos or scans are great.
See you next week!