Comic strips bring life to drawings by simplifying the telling of a story. They are a useful form of artistic expression commonly used to tell stories with drawings that are accompanied by narratives. Comic strips contain multiple images that represent a story with a timeline. The history of comic strips began with Rodolphe Topffer in the 19th century who had the idea of adding a narration under drawings. Soon afterwards the French developed the first children’s newspaper which was entirely filled with comic strips. Comic strips are commonly used to express humor and bring motion to drawings as well as a sense of time. This lesson is important because it allows students to develop their imagination and storytelling abilities by allowing them to invent their own characters and bring them to life when designing their comic strips. Students will learn the history of comic strips and explore different examples of popular comic strips from around the world, for example the manga a type of Japanese comic strips. However this lesson will mostly focus on learning the techniques involved in the creation of comic book stories inspired by Franco-Belgian comic strips such as Tintin and Astérix and Obélix. In this lesson, students will develop their very own comic strip by inventing unique characters for their own story and by applying tradition comic strips techniques.
Visual arts competencies
Competency 1: “To create personal images”
Uses ideas to design an original comic strip.
Organizes their production in visual arts by choosing the materials they intend to use, and organizes their own story and ideas.
Shares their experience in the creation of their own comic strips by discussing their story and characters with their peers.
Produces a comic strip that is original and displays creativity.
Competency 2: “Appreciates work of art”
Appreciates traditional artworks and media production involved in storytelling and fables, in particular comic books.
Appreciate their own artworks and those of their peers by discussing their comic strips.
To appreciate comic book art by reading popular comic books from Franco-Belgian culture.
To learn the history of comic books.
To explore the artistic techniques used in the creation of comic strips.
To create their own comic strip story.
To develop a story and represent it through a series of narrative drawings.
To represent different views by drawing characters from different perspective and distances.
PowerPoint presentation on comics
Examples of comic books
Prototype of project at different steps
Comic page template
Comic book examples
Guideline paper on steps & explanation of project
Album: Comic books that are related to each other and contain a finished story or story to be continued; an album is part of a series.
Borderless panel: A comic panel that has no boarder or outline.
Caption: The words which appear in a yellow box which voices what the narrator of the comic story is saying.
Cartoonist: a title given to someone who designs comic strips.
Close-up shot: Isolating a part of the scene or the character by focusing on detail for example: an arm, a hand, or a face. Often it is used to show the expression of a face or to focus on a detail of a scene. Can also focus and places emphasis on small details, for example: an eye, a finger, a button.
Comic Strip: a sequence of drawings in boxes that tell an amusing story, typically printed in a newspaper or comic book.
Dialogue Balloon: A comic book technique used to express what the characters communicate to each other. These bubbles contain words or sounds used to express what the characters say, scream or think.
Drawing Board: The name given to each page of a comic book.
Gutter: The space between panels on a comic book page.
Inks: the final stage of a comics drawing (applying ink to the pencil).
Manga: A type of Japanese comic.
Medium Shot: In a comic book, when the character is represented from head to waist.
Long Shot: When we see all the character in a comic book story from head to toe. Focus is on the dialogue.
Onomatopoeia: A word that emits a sound. It represents the noises that take place in a comic story.
Overall plan: A plan in the comic book in which the characters are situated in the scene. It shows the scene of the story, focusing on the décor in which the characters are represented with little detail, since the main focus is on the décor.
Panel: The name given to one drawing on a comic book page. It is the single square on a drawing board of a comic. It contains the image with speech bubbles and narration.
Pencil: the first stage in drawing a comic book prior to the final inked stage.
Plan: The different ways of presenting the characters, as seen from different distances.
Storyboard: a sequence of drawings, typically with some directions and dialogue, representing the shots planned for a movie or television production.
Spiked balloons: A balloon that indicates what characters in comics are shouting.
Thought Balloon: A cloud balloon i that indicates what a character in comics are thinking.
Tier: A single row of panels on a comic book page.
Trace: copying a drawing by placing a piece of transparent paper on top of an image and copying the image.
Zoom: The process of going from the ensemble plan to the big plan by getting progressively closer and focusing on more details.
My Students working on their BD
Examples of My Grade 5 Student's Comic Strips
My lesson plan on narrative comic strips, in both French and English.