Developing a Plot

Daily Prompt, Virtual Comics Club

Today’s Daily prompt is the one we start off in the first class of comics club. Build a one frame comic telling the story of why the chicken crossed the road.

The single frame comic is a tricky element to work with, you have to tell a whole story in a single picture. This limits the range of time and space you can work in and you need to provide all the information about the narrative arc in the single frame. Gary Larsen’s Far Side comic or Bill Keane’s Family Circus, or where strip artists have used a single panel strip such as Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes.

Introducing the required elements of every comic and comic page

Plot

There’s a chicken, there’s a road and there’s some reason for him to get to the other side.

  • Character: a chicken
  • Setting: near a road
  • Conflict: ??why??
  • What came before to create the situation
  • What happens after

Layout

This is a single panel. But don’t forget the checklist:

  • What’s the message
  • Where do I want focus
  • What can I do to lead my reader’s eyes along the path I want?
  • Words
  • Visual elements

Drawing

There are multiple elements to draw here. Think about what makes the following recognizable:

  • The character: Chickens (how do they look? What visual elements do we recognize to make a chicken)
  • Roads (perspective?)
  • Depicting motivation

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