SchoolArts Magazine

DEC 2008

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

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Page 25 of 63

Previous page: Comic book panel by Devaughn Testman, Reinaldo Lassalles, Alcides Lopez, Pierre Castillo, Christopher Lopez, Nathaniel Singleton, grades six through eight, IS 349, New York City, New York. Designing Panels thinking. The highest-quality outThe next step in the CBP process is comes are based on the uniqueness for students to understand the strucof the idea, not how well it is drawn. ture of a comic book, which is built The fifth-grade girl who created upon sequential rectangular boxes, or "dropped ice cream" (go to schoolartpanels. I encourage students to think to see this image) from of themselves as movie directors; her triangle used five lines to execute each panel of the drawing: one for the The goal is to give students the the comic book scoop and four opportunity to design original is like a camera shot in a movie. sticky drips. characters, develop interesting A movie direcBut the idea storylines, and publish and tor has many of dropped ice present their work. elements to cream is one consider in any that I never given camera shot: movement, lightwould have conceived. I can almost ing, color, weight, balance, perspecconjure the idea forming in her mind, tive, range, angle, and line of action flowing into her shoulder, down her to name a few. The creator of a comic arm, into her hand, through her penbook must consider these same elecil, and finally onto the paper. ments in the design of a panel. In 24 December 2008 SchoolArts this way, students imbue their comic books with several layers of detail, perspective, and imagery. Eighthgrader David Dennis highlights this nicely in his smoking prevention comic book where the "camera" moves closer and closer toward the characters' faces until the page concludes with an extreme close-up on the smoker's rotting teeth. I have yet to see a more convincing argument against smoking. Writing and Storytelling Of course, creating a comic book is not just about creative art and design. Writing and storytelling are just as important. For those looking for connections between the arts and core academic areas, comic books are a good place to start. But the writing

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