Like any project, taking control from beginning to end can be intimidating, especially if you are assigned to complete the proposal alone. Despite this, we can explore a range of methods to apply in our project’s onset, helping the creative process to run smoother and more efficiently. To expand, it’s important to examine the following question: what measures can we take at this early stage to increase the likelihood of project success? In turn, it’s important we consider the project’s purpose, target audience, deadline, and various aims. In relation to our comic book, research will play a core role towards developing our storyline, characters, and setting, as well as effectively creating a successful comic. From a creative standpoint, this devotion to research has the potential to deliver problem-solving information as well enhance our understanding of the project, providing the ‘best’ that has been said and thought on the topics that relate to our comic’s storyline (Armstrong, 2012).
To begin our research, it’s vital we determine the information that we need or want to know (Booth, Colomb & Williams, 2008). For the purpose of this project, numerous aspects of the comic industries will be explored including: design techniques, narrative devices, consumer base, and select opposition. To expand, this research phase will tackle key challenges such as creating a comic book that displays intellectual credibility as well as an appealing nature to both adults and children. In relation to sources, it’s important that we consider the value, reliance, and context of the information used throughout our research. For example, a wide range of comics will be explored (see Fig. 1.1), providing reliable insight into the layout, medium, and typography of successful comic-based publications. From a creative standpoint, perhaps this research into the comic industry can influence our artistic approach, narrative direction, and selection of medium towards creating a comic?
In relation to narrative, research will also play a key role towards shaping the comic’s central characters, setting, and appealing plot line for both adults and children. To expand, a series of books, articles, interviews, and Internet sources will be explored to enhance our understanding of particular themes as well as unearth important details that can affect our entire story (Wilson, 2012). This critical analysis will focus upon several main topics related to early 20th century Australia, including: indigenous communities, rural townships, bush folklores, and the legendary Yowie, a mythical hominid reputed to live in the Australian wilderness. In particular, the latter will be focused upon heavily, providing a sense of imagery to draft and conceive our central character upon (see CP2-VLOG: Finding Yowie). From a wider perspective, understanding the information that we need could perhaps enhance our chances of focus-driven research, laying the foundations for a good final project (Ching, 2013).
In addition to researching narrative-based topics, it’s also important that we consider the target audience, opposition and stakeholders in our project. Like many works belonging to the creative industries, empathy-driven design can perhaps determine the success or failure of our product. In relation to our project, it’s vital we develop an understanding of the material that both adults and children may wish to see in a comic book. From a research standpoint, this information can be sought in successful comic publications as well as feedback from online forums in the comic community. In particular, the latter option continues to provide a series of useful remarks, suggestions, and critiques that relate to the following question: how can we create a comic that appeals to both adults and children? This feedback from online forums such as Comic Rack and Comic Book Resources (see Fig. 1.2) has provided a web of information that can be used to develop a befitting comic book for our target audience. In contrast, we can also use online parenting or education forums as an opportunity to explore the debate and opposition surrounding the intellectual credibility of comics. This useful insight into the concerns from parents, teachers, and educational institutes can be used to drive the design of a comic that entertains children as well as possibly educate.
Throughout the week, this wealth of information will be thoroughly examined, providing the final design decisions needed to begin our comic book. To expand, the following post will be displayed in video format, presenting a series of concept art, research, and initial storyboarding related to the comic’s central character: The Yowie. Like many creative projects, it seems the true power of any artistic endeavour is imbedded in those first sketches. From a design standpoint, it also seems important to note and avoid the procrastination trap that befalls so many assignments, projects, and creative practitioners. Here’s to getting the job done.
- Armstrong, J. (2012). The Conversation. A Question Universities Need to Answer: Why Do We Research? http://theconversation.com/a-question-universities-need-to-answer-why-do-we-research-6230
- Booth, W. Colomb, G. Williams, J. (2008). The Craft of Research, Third Edition (Chicago Guides to Writing, Editing, and Publishing). What Is Research? (p.10). Chicago: University of Chicago Press
- Ching, A. (2013). Spinoff Online. D23 | Pixar Reveals Secrets at “Doing Our Homework” Panel. http://spinoff.comicbookresources.com/2013/08/10/d23-pixar-reveals-research-secrets-at-doing-our-homework-panel/
- Comic Book Resources & Comic Rack (2014). Online Forums [Image: Screenshot, Fig. 1.2]. http://comicrack.cyolito.com/forum/22-web-comics & http://community.comicbookresources.com
- Groening, M. (1990). How to go to Hell. The Procrastinator [Image]. London: Harper Collins Publishers
- Wilson, J. (2012). The Guardian. How to Write a Book in 30 Days: Researching your Novel. http://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/oct/19/researching-your-novel