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Unit 55: Graphic Narrative

Unit 55: LO1, LO2, LO3

Sarah Wilson & Adam Jones

Date Issued: 18th January 2016

Final Deadline: 24th March 2016

Aim and purpose

The aim of this unit is to enable learners to develop skills in the production of two-dimensional graphic narratives and apply sequential art effectively through an understanding of the principles of character, dialogue, and plot by means of visual storytelling. Learners will develop transferable skills, which could be applied across a vast area of visual communications such as film, television, photographic applications, animation, computer graphics and print media.

Unit introduction

Graphic narratives exist in a variety of formats such as comic books, graphic novels, cartoon strips, children’s books, photo-stories, packaging, advertising, publicity material, and in digital media such as CD ROMs and the worldwide web (web comics). They represent a form of fiction that tells a story in a sequential, graphic narrative. Additionally, many other kinds of media products are originally thought out and explored using two- dimensional visual techniques. An example of this would be storyboards, typically used to create scenes and sequences for film and television. They ensure that a particular storyline, or a series of related actions, comes together to create meaning and has the desired effect. Storyboards can bring the script to life visually and need to consider such devices as camera angles and movement, points of view and lighting.

Stories fill our lives and the creation of a story in its basic form involves the construction of a series of events, conflicts and resolutions. Defined by characters and settings, narrative can be presented typically in myths, fairy tales, legends and histories but, through innovation, narratives can be placed within a variety of contexts and manipulated to create a variety of meanings.

Genres such as manga from Japan, and other more mature graphic novels, have inspired a new generation with enthusiasm for the medium. The synergy with blockbuster style movies and video games is becoming more apparent and comic books often reference the same kind of dynamic visualisation found in film and television narratives.

This unit gives you an opportunity to focus on the production of two-dimensional graphic narratives. You will be able to apply your own ideas and creativity to produce a range of narratives using a variety of different two-dimensional production methods. You may choose to produce a stand-alone graphic narrative product such as a comic book, children’s book or a series of cartoon strips, or plan narratives for other productions such as television drama, film or animation. You may wish to explore the more innovative graphic novel styles which push the conventions of the visual frame and draw the reader into a new world no longer governed by the rules of traditional visual storytelling.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit you should:

· Be able to develop ideas and designs for graphic narrative

· Be able to use appropriate technology and processes to produce graphic narratives

· Be able to reflect upon own graphic narrative work


Create a main tab called UNIT 55: Graphic Narrative LO1 LO2 LO3

Brief Outline

SelfMadeHero is a quirky independent publishing house committed to producing groundbreaking work in the graphic novel medium. We commission independently minded, commercially successful work while championing the very best graphic novels in translation.

They have commissioned Vibe Productions to produce a series of Graphic novels for their portfolio of work

They would like your portfolio to contain:

1. A portfolio of idea generations and planning

2. Pre-production and costing’s

3. A portfolio of graphic narratives in the genre of either

Pop Art / retro Horror / Gothic Children narrative Superhero

Your portfolio should contain:

a. An independent Flip book showing movement of characters

b. Front cover to a graphic novel or comic book

c. A 4 page graphic narrative

d. A trailer for your product with sound and voice over

Your narratives can be drawn or photographed and then manipulated through Photoshop and Premier Pro

4. An evaluation of the process

Deadline is the 24th March 2016

Unit 55 LO1: Be able to develop ideas and designs for graphic narratives

LO1 Aim: Produce ideas and designs for Graphic Narrative to a technical quality that reflects near professional standards, showing creativity and flair and working independently to professional expectations

Task Description:

Vibe Productions requires you to plan and produce a Graphic narrative that can be produced over a variety of media platforms

· Flip book

· Novel

· Filmed production

You are required to show the following as part of your planning

· Research and critical analysis on at least 3 narratives within your chosen genre from past and current commercial novels / films (examples can be found on Vibe productions) along with research into how these narratives are published in your chosen medium (Book and TV) and format (Cartoon strip, flip book, comic strip, photo story), discussing the new technologies that allows these publications to happen (computer animation and interactive media). Research on how you will carry out your narrative (awareness of hand, mechanical and digital means and use of design software for image and text construction and manipulation

· Idea generation in the form of mind maps, mood boards, sketches and rough scripts (at least 2 different ideas)

· Feedback in the form of questionnaires or filmed focus groups

· Storyboard

· Typography research

· Considerations: Cost, available resources; quantity; audience; target market; quality factors; codes of practice; regulation; legal issues, e.g. copyright; ethical issues, e.g. decency, representation, cultural sensitivity, clearances, health and safety

Extra Guidance can be found at: http://thcvibeproductions.weebly.com/lo11.html

LO1 Extra guidance and marking scheme

P: Produce ideas and designs for a graphic narrative working within appropriate conventions and with some assistance

M: Produce ideas and designs for a graphic narrative to a good technical standard, showing some imagination and with occasional assistance

D: Produce ideas and designs for a graphic narrative to a technical quality that reflects near professional standards, showing creativity and flair and working independently to professional expectations

· Ideas mind map

· Main character outlined

· Plot outlined

· Graphic style illustrated through research

· Main characters distinctive features outlined

· Main characters inner life outlined

· Cast list or character experimenting/sketching - face, body, costume

· Art work is developed to a professional standard

· Plot is clear/detailed

· Pages/Thumbnails outlined including frames (if appropriate)

· Imagination and independence demonstrated

· Deadline met

· Your narrative is as important as your illustrations – your plot must be clear and detailed

· Your characters must have a ‘life story’ in order to act and behave how they do in the narrative

· You must have proof of casting if you are using people – the chosen actors must suit the characters

Work to be uploaded to UNIT 55 LO1

Deadline for LO1: 5th February 2016

Unit 55 LO2: Be able to use appropriate technology and processes to produce graphic narratives

LO2 Aim: Produce Graphic Narrative using appropriate technology and processes to a technical quality that reflects near professional standard, showing creativity and flair and working independently to professional standards

Vibe productions require you to explore ideas independently and produce effective and well thought-out original ideas and designs that are then incorporated into effective graphic narrative products (Flip book, novel and film) approaching near-professional standards. Examples will show a very high technical standard as well as creativity and flair, technical skills being applied not just with imagination but also with ingenuity, and codes and conventions being used with occasionally surprising results. Preparatory material will closely follow industry conventions for presentation, and production work will reflect the high standard of design and preparation. You will show that there has been a clear progression from original designs to your completed work, which itself evidences creativity and flair. Independent application of high quality technical skills will produce a portfolio of near-professional standard. In all practical activity, distinction grade learners will be capable of working autonomously and effectively. The term ‘working independently’ means that you are able to work on you own initiative, do not need constant support or supervision, give the work your full commitment, work positively and cooperatively with others, and meet deadlines. In other words, you have the kind of self-management skills that would be expected of you in a professional context.

You are required to complete the following as part of your production:

1. Produce a flipbook using digital photography or hand drawings – The flipbook must show movement and link in with your novel and trailer as part of the overall theme of your portfolio. You will submit your flipbook and upload a