More from the ASA Masterclass…

So, the ASA’s Comic and Graphic Novel Masterclass is done. Now, I will report on the second day of the Masterclass properly soon. For now, here is a brief glimpse of the processes worked through today.

Colleen Doran spoke of a range of techniques over the weekend, between vomiting that is (like I said, I will post further soon). One particular technique she broke down is the creative Japanese approach of Shitigaki.

Shitigaki is a form of instant scripting that creates thumb-nail panels and dialogue simultaneously. It becomes an immediate blueprint for placing balloons and graphic elements amidst the page’s spatial relationships. Though primarily used in Manga, it can be an invaluable tool in developing any project within tight time frames.

Yesterday, Colleen had also taught a story development technique which involves providing the class with a handful of key words. These words then become plot ephemera for a narrative that must be developed in 90 seconds. The key words function as creative totems for general story-building.

So, while Colleen left the class to hurl (once again, I’ll explain later), she left us with a creative exercise. We were to select two words from a list, then build a story around them using the Shitigaki technique, in fifteen minutes no less. My artist associate and I did not quite finish in time, but enjoyed the scribbled exercise so much we thought we’d share the results. Here’s the 90 second story and its Shitigaki thumb-nails…

Our selected key words were EYE and STORM.

Page 1:

– A girl is walking to a park happily.

– She imagines herself meeting with a friend at a set of swings within the park.

– As she walks into the park clouds gather and rain begins to fall. A storm brews.

Page 2:

– The girl scrambles in the now heavy rain.

– She slips in a puddle and lands with a thud.

– Then, she climbs from the ground and is immediately blown over backwards by the wind.

– She crawls wearily from the mud only to see the swings empty. The boy is not there.

– The girl looks up at the storm above her with tears welling in her eyes. A bolt of lightning cracks.

Page 3:

– Suddenly, the girl is flung to the ground as her friend appears and shoves her in order to escape a strike of lightning. The boy is hit with the lightning in the process.

– Stunned, she rushes over to see her friend. He lies smoking on the ground.

– Then, the girl and her friend walk off together happily. He is ashen and smoking but smiling. They are holding hands.

Just your usual tale of girl meets boy, loses boy, then boy gets struck by lightning…


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