July 7th: Visual Narrative I


Understanding Comics, by Scott McCloud – pgs 2-117


graphic novels: Chris Ware example 1,  example 3, example 4

Blog Prompt:

Digital storytelling may involve images in sequence (comics, slides, video), arranged spatially in an interface and/or integrated with other media such as text and audio. After reading about “sequential arts”, “gutters” and “time frames” in the chapters of Understanding Comics, how might you approach the next visual narrative assignment? What ideas does McCloud generate for you? Try to think outside the box.


Typographic Storytelling Due Tuesday July 7th

video lecture:


overview picturing time:

  • scroll/timeline
  • nonlinear (distributed and asynchronous)
  • sequential (chronological frames)
  • spatial montage (simultaneous frames)
  • cinema (duration, temporal frames)

examples of digital graphic novels:

hobolobo of hamelin




Time Framing, by Erik Loyer

Panoply – 3d comics


Visual Narrative Assignment 15%

Due class after next

We have discussed many strategies/approaches to visual narration and how story time – events and incidents, actions and reactions – can be made visible and relational in pictorial space through…

  • single frame composition
  • scroll navigation
  • nonlinear navigation
  • panel-to-panel relationships
  • cinematic sequence
  • spatial montage

In this assignment, you are to use images to tell a story. The images may include symbols, shapes, colors, drawings, graphics, photos and/or video. Your images may be accompanied by text, but images and their spatial relationships should drive the narrative, not the text.  In other words, trynot to make illustrations for a pre-written script. Instead, investigate new ways to organize images–on the single page and from page to page– in order to get across your particular visual story. Remember,  the pictorial frame and the user’s navigation of the frame(s) are elements of visual storytelling.

Please don’t worry too much about the quality of images. Use your pencil, phone camera, screen grabs, image downloads. Play with photoshop. Remember, you can take any of these short assignments and complete them as your final project.

Ideas for the Visual Narrative assignment:

  • create a “short film” with a sequence of still images or loops
  • create a storyboard or comic
  • sample images from the web based on a constraint and organize a narrative sequence of images with captions.
  • create a collage book that evoke strange narrative spaces/sequences. (Bosch, Bunuel/Dali)
  • Make a sequence of images that documents a single day, or a walk, or your commute. Use instagram!
  • make a short/silent video.

Storyboarding: download and print storyboard paper

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