The comic was drawing in a small format, 5″ x 6″ sketchbook, one panel at a time. I then scanned them and laid them out as a page. The story and art is constrained according to an assignment I give at the end of my “ink drawing” class at SVA. I wanted to try it out myself and make sure I thought it was worthwhile (I do). As assigned, the comic must be one page, inked, and incorporate the following elements into a coherent narrative of some sort:
-Three different settings: interior, urban, nature
-Two human characters
The theme of the comic must be: “an exchange”
For my own version I added a combinatorial constraint whereby each character is featured once on their own (son, polar bear, father) then in three pairs (son/bear, father/son, father/bear).
I had a notion–from a dream in fact–of a miserable alcoholic father rotting in some arctic outpost along with a weak-willed son so I decided to make them my starting point and add the polar bear as my animal. (It was that or a penguin… (In fact, penguins have figured more than a few times in my students’ takes on this assignment)). I sort of fudged the “urban” setting, allowing myself the polar outpost in the first panel, but otherwise I’m pretty happy with the result. It reads like a condensed version of a longer narrative, a short story or possibly even a graphic novel, although I doubt I will pursue it any further.
If anyone wants to do a comic based on this assignment–or to assign it in a class–please feel free to. I would love to see the results.