Jayla Wright Capstone

Around when I was 12 I had gotten into webcomics. I grew inspired by this niche storytelling format and decided that sometime in the future I would have a webcomic of my own. A few years later, I was a freshman in SLA, I learned the ropes of this school, including the capstone project all seniors were expected to do. From there on, I knew that my capstone just had to be a webcomic.

Webcomics start like any other storytelling medium. Ideas, characters, and events hazardously fly in the creator's mind. I went through numerous ideas for my story before settling on one. At this point, the characters, setting, and events needed development. As I wanted the comic to be character driven, I fleshed out the people of the story first. After that, I began writing the script where the setting and the events came naturally to me. After the script and characters were giving multiple trials of critiquing I knew my webcomic was ready to go. I put all dialogue and visual descriptions into a spreadsheet and created character designs to help me plan each comic panel. I planned over 200 drawings and decided to break them up into small weekly updates to make the comic easier to consume. The last thing to do was to make a website that could host my comic.

There were unexpected hiccups along the way, but I did appreciate learning the storytelling process. I plan to work on this after I graduate so I can continue to contribute my art and writing to the storytelling world.  

Barr, Brian. 2017. “The Ultimate Guide to Running Instagram Stories Ads That Will Generate Massive ROI.” Single Grain. Single Grain. www.singlegrain.com/digital-marketing/ultimate-guide-instagram-stories-ads/

Will use this to understand advertising on social media. The article briefs on Ads on social media being short, and its viewer’s attention spans being even shorter. Based on that information, I can gather that advertising on social media requires storytelling that is quick and eye-catching. I don’t want my audiences to be bored, I want them engaged and interested. Using storytelling allows me to ensure that my audience will remember and look into my webcomic.

Bois, Jon. 2AD. “What Football Will Look Like in the Future.” SBNation.com. SBNation. https://www.sbnation.com/a/17776-football

Will use this webcomic as an example of experimental online storytelling. 17776 incorporates facets of the internet such as infinite scrolling and videos. Both are things people interact with on the daily during their internet surfing. But, these techniques are rarely seen in webcomics, which typically follows a book’s format of being flipped page to page. The formatting of this website is similar to social media’s, where users scroll through their feed and browse texts, videos, and pictures. I believe by taking inspiration from this website formatting I can create a website that considers how people currently use the internet.

Brown, Kieron. 2013. “The Comics Grid: Journal of Comics Scholarship.” The Comics Grid. Musical Sequences in Comics. www.comicsgrid.com/articles/10.5334/cg.aj/

Will be used to consider how music interacts with storytelling. I plan to have a multimedia webcomic and I would need to effectively use music that would help move along the plot or character development. The article also discusses the importance of reader engagement with music, as the more the reader is involved the more the story moves on. Music and storytelling interacting will make scenes and character traits more memorable.

“Character Development: How to Write Characters Your Readers Won't Forget.” 2018. Reedsy. Reedsy Ltd. blog.reedsy.com/character-development/

Will be used to write more detailed character descriptions. The exercises help me understand my character’s motives and behavior better. The source has a lot to choose from ranging from templates that help kickstart a character to psychology questions used on real people. So far, this source has been used to get me started with a character but it will probably be used in the possible case of writer’s block.

Darcy, Jen. Disney Villains: Delightfully Evil: The Creation The Inspiration The Fascination. New York, New York: Disney Enterprises, Inc, 2017.

Will be used for character design. As this book goes into depth towards Disney’s decisions when visually designing their characters. Disney typically considers what humans find uncomfortable to look at in their designs to get their desired reaction. For example, using a sickly green color in scenes whenever a villain is present. These techniques almost train audiences to react according to Disney’s plan. This book is useful for considering key aspects of design in not just villains, but all characters and settings.

Dune, Will. The Dramatic Writer's Companion. Chicago, Illinois: University of Chicago Press, 2009.

Will be used when fleshing out a new character. This book lists exercises that jog the brain into thinking of material for characters and setting. I plan to mostly use this source as a way of getting to know my characters, as well as making them feel real. This source considers small aspects of characters such as their insignificant interests and beliefs. Both details most likely won’t affect the plot, but it will help with understanding their motives.

Hussie, Andrew. n.d. Homestuck. Andrew Hussie. Accessed January 24, 2019. www.homestuck.com/

Will be used as an example of an experimental webcomic. Homestuck is one of the few webcomics to use flash animation, games, and music instead of just static images. I will take this webcomic’s techniques of inserting different mediums into my story when appropriate. Homestuck’s use of more than one medium is part of the reasons why it’s so memorable, as it takes advantage of its placement being on the internet. I intend to consider using unique aspects of the internet in my webcomic as well.

Lund, Martin. "Rethinking the Jewish-Comics Connection" 2013. https://lup.lub.lu.se/search/publication/4025166

This thesis considers how identity is expressed in comics. Whether intentional or not, comic book writers and artists tend to make statements depending on how their characters’ identities are regarded in stories. Although the thesis focuses on a Jewish-American angle, I will consider this topic when writing all my characters. I want to avoid making an unintentionally harmful statement about a character’s identity. I also want the statements I do intentionally make to be powerful and meaningful.

Radner, Jo. "On the Threshold of Power: The Storytelling Movement Today." Storytelling, Self, Society 4, no. 1 (2008): 36-49. http://www.jstor.org/stable/41948997

Will use this source towards making my webcomic look appealing enough to read. The book focuses on traditional storytelling’s competition for popularity with other art forms such as dance or theatre. My chosen medium isn’t as traditional as a book, but it does face the same treatment that books receive due to their lower entertainment value. However, considering what makes these forms of media regarded higher and applying it to my work can make my webcomic stand out.

Undertale. Videogame. United States: Toby Fox, 2015.

Undertale has a simple plot and art style, yet it rose quickly in cultural importance. This endearment it received can most likely be traced back to its heartfelt design, due to each aspect of the game feeling thoughtfully crafted. It also has a unique soundtrack, characters, and concept which helped its booming popularity. I intend to keep the aspects in mind when creating my webcomic. While it does need to be different, it also needs to have a heart as well.