Exercises in Cartooning: Week 3, Exercises 3.1
(yeah, I know I should be at Week 4 by now,
but the end of the school year for a teacher is hard,
and I had to take a break from this)
for previous exercises, look at the blog archives
The great cartoonist Ivan Brunetti, also a teacher of comics/cartooning, has a book that publishes his course; it is a 10 week "class" that has a few exercises for each week, some of which I might even use in my own graphic novel class. I thought it'd be fun--especially since I'm a writer and need to challenge my skills as an artist--to run myself through his course and post each of my exercise on here. So without further ado...
Draw a one panel cartoon for each of the below scenarios; spend 3-4 minutes on each cartoon, you can't use any words and you can only use black and white. Brunetti specifically says to use a notecard for each of them, but I just split a page into 12 squares, since I didn't have notecards on hand.
A) the beginning of the world
B) the end of the world
C) a self-portrait, including your entire body
D) something that happened at lunchtime (or breakfast, if it's still morning)
E) an image from a dream you had recently
F) something that happened in the middle of the world's existence (something in between cartoon A and cartoon B)
G) What happened right after cartoon F?
H) something that happened early this morning
I) something that has yet to happen
J) pick any of the above panels and draw something that happened immediately afterward (I chose right after cartoon H, which is about my girlfriend and I's cat waking us up)
K) draw a "riff" on panel J; it could be a different perspective, a different character's viewpoint, something happening off-panel, or a close-up of a detail on the panel
L) draw something that has nothing to do with any of the panels you've drawn so far
Here are my cartoons (row 1: A-C; row 2: D-F; row 3: G-I; row 4: J-L)
Take 4 of the panels and arrange them so they tell a story. Study if any beat is missing. Rearrange the order and see what has changed--is it still readable or has it now lost its narrative? Finally, decide on the best order that tells the most concise and engaging story. Without knowing it, you just brainstormed your way into creating a four-panel comic. The next exercises will refine this ability.
I decided to organize my panels this way: H, J, K and C. Essentially the first three were all the exercises asking me to draw parts of what happened this morning (the cat walking me and the gf up) and the last one is a rough looking self-portrait, which is sometimes how I feel when I've woken up early to a cat's hungry meows.