a pink Cross Tech-3 engraved with "Leslie"

Chapter 2: Every Picture Tells a Story

This week’s chapter–though brief–stumped me. It focused on the art of one-line one-panel comics called “gag”s. I’m not a very concise person, and when I am, I take it to the minimalist level. There’s no happy medium for me, so I hoped that forcing myself through this chapter, I might make some sort of breakthrough. Spoiler alert: I didn’t.

thumbnails of homework from last week with bad captions underneath

I tried captioning my homework from last week, but clearly I'm not good at it.

Clicking on the above picture will take you to the Drawing Words & Writing Pictures sister website that I’ve been using as a “Ronin,” where it offers some good feedback on effective captioning.

The homework involved creating my own gag comic, which turned out to be superbly difficult since brief humor is also one of my greatest weak points. So here are some examples of doodles I did while trying to figure out what to draw:

sketch of Leslie sitting on bed thinking of what to draw on a blank page

This is a really raw sketch. (I do like how my leg goes out of the border...)

a really crappy sketch of a comic within a comic

A terrible rendition in the style of Magritte.

At this point, after staring at my terrible doodles, I drew a tiny thumbnail sketch based off Abel & Madden’s advice: “If you are having trouble coming up with ideas, do what the pros do: Explore the classic gag scenarios! A desert island, a psychiatrists couch, a CEO’s office, a drunk at a bar, etc.”

a sketch of a desert island with a single palm tree and the caption: Mount Everest: Post-Global Climate Change

Finally, and idea that wasn't half bad.

So I drew it full-scale in pencil:

the peak of Mount Everest with a single palm tree in a sea of water and an intense sun in the background. The caption: "Mount Everest: Post- Global Climate Change."

I tried to get the peak of Mt. Everest close to how it really looks.

And then I tried inking it:

the peak of Mount Everest with a single palm tree in a sea of water and an intense sun in the background. The caption: "Mount Everest: Post- Global Climate Change."

I'm not sure how I like inking with ballpoint pen. I'm so used to doing all of my inking digitally.

I may have to experiment with types of inking. I know we haven’t gotten tot he inking chapter yet, so I thought it was interesting that Abel & Madden would introduce it in this manner. They give a great overview on different types of pens (suggesting “pigmented” ink instead of “permanent” ink, since the latter has a tendency to fade over time) which I find fascinating. I really don’t have much experience with the physical art of comic-making (since most everything I have experience with is digital) so this was very useful. I’m looking forward to going over inking in depth.

The hardware I used this time around was a Cross Tech 3–a mechanical pencil, black ballpoint pen, and red ballpoint pen all at once. I received an engraved one for my birthday, and I’m loving it. :]

a pink Cross Tech-3 engraved with "Leslie"

It's kind of hard to see, but that's my name engraved on it!

Content-wise, it doesn’t seem like there was a lot of drawing this week, but getting words to go along with pictures in a clever, ironic, or humorous way is much harder than it looks.

I also set up the Sketchbook! If you want to see any pictures in closer detail, that’s where you should go. :)