This week, I’ve been exploring how to create comic strips. This turned out to be trickier than I imagined, as there are multitudes of approaches in varying ‘beats’ of 2-panel to 12-panel strips. The concept of ‘beat’ adds to the challenge and begs questions of how exactly rhythm works in a funny strip and why it matters.
Despite a week of wrangling today, I managed to create a little strip by combining a couple of basic formulas for creating comic strips. I worked with a basic characters of protagonist and antagonist. The protagonist is the lead character in the graphic story who usually aims for happiness in their story, whereas the antagonist exists to delay, prevent, and trouble this character. The antagonist could be either a character, an object or an abstract quality, as long as they create a conflict for resolution in a comic strip. The usual narrative structure for this is:
- Set up
My protagonist today became a cartoony ‘bod’ – my term for a simple character who could be everyone and anyone and exists beyond the usual labels of race and gender. This bod did not need the weight of these labels, as these are not part of this little story.
The antagonist is not a person in this instance, but the current ‘preoccupation with anxiety,’ which is troubling for both its prevalence and potential suggestibility.
This is my first attempt to work in this way, but it interests me to continue to work with the ‘antagonist’ as an interesting vehicle for exploring all kinds of concerns.