assignment 3-1: telling a story in a comic

An example of a Bitstrip comic I made in about 30 minutes

Due: Wednesday, October 12
Format: Share your Bitstrip link as a comment on this post. Or, if you don’t have easy access to a computer, you could hand-draw your comic using one of the blank panels available for download at the link below. (or you can draw your own panels from scratch…)

This assignment will introduce you to the language of comics in order to prepare you for reading “A.D. New Orleans After the Deluge” later this week. First, read the handouts I distributed in class and also uploaded to Course Documents. These readings are similar, but each one has information you’ll find useful. Since you may not have experience reading comics analytically (or perhaps you have never read a comic before!), it will be important to learn some terminology detailed in the two readings above: panel, gutter, gesture, etc. In the UT-Arlington reading, note the sections on choices and decisions. As you might know by now, your essays focus almost entirely on choices and decisions that authors/artists make. In the Duke University reading, note the questions that you could ask yourself, such as “Is the style cartoonish, abstract, photorealistic, etc.?” and “Is the panel order obvious, and how do you know the intended order?” Both of these readings will help you approach comics rhetorically.

After you’ve completed the reading, create a Bitstrip comic that narrates an event or experience that was dramatic, difficult, disappointing, or negative for you in some way. This could be something that happened to you personally or to someone you know. It could also tell a brief story of a current event that was tragic or negative somehow. If you don’t have easy access to a computer, you could hand-draw your comic using one of the panels I distributed in class. You can download these blank panels here.

As you create your comic, remember the terminology from the reading and see if you can put some of it to use. Be aware of the choices you make as you tell your story. Your narrative does not have to be complicated. It could only be two or three panels, and it doesn’t even have to use text.

To post your Bitstrips link
1. Give your comic a title by clicking “Title of Strip.”
2. Click the red SAVE button.
3. The website will ask you to register. You can sign in with Facebook or give a username and email address.
4. Once you verify your email address, you will be able to share your comic by clicking the Share icon, which looks like this:

5. Click Share. Once you click Share, you will see two options, Strip Viewer and Image. Copy the link for Image. Then paste the link in the comments here.
6. if that doesn’t work, you can Publish your comic by clicking the green Publish button. You will get a link called Short URL. Copy and paste that link into the comments here.