Since sophomore year, I knew I wanted to create an ongoing webcomic on Webtoon. Because I’m going into illustration and graphic design as a career, this would help me get some experience in the industry and put my work out in public. I came up with the original idea back in sophomore year and have been drawing the characters since then, but I didn’t seriously write the story until this year. My goal for my capstone was to finish my character designs and backgrounds, write out the story structure, and publish the first episode.
After referencing books and videos on writing, I brainstormed and wrote out the character backstories. Then, I wrote out the story structure, the script for my first “episode”, and drew the storyboard and final sketch of that episode. I uploaded the sketch to my digital drawing software and finished drawing, coloring, shading, and lettering in that program. Lastly, I used Photoshop to cut it into different sections and posted it to Webtoon.
This capstone helped me build a good foundation for this comic that I plan on continuing for several years and made me excited to see where it goes. I feel more confident that my story is cohesive and the art style is something I can keep up and improve over the years.
Read the comic here:
Cosmos, and Van Ji. "Winter Woods." Www.webtoons.com. November 2014, 19. Accessed January 25, 2019. https://www.webtoons.com/en/romance/winter-woods/list?title_no=344&page=1.
This webcomic is my biggest inspiration for my webcomic. It was one of the first webcomics I ever read and was the one that inspired me to create my own. The art and the overall mood and tone of the comic are much like how I want mine to be. I have used the comic as artistic inspiration in my artwork for the comic, using some of the drawings as references for my own work. I am still using it to help me draw backgrounds, as that is something I want to simplify and improve. If I run out of inspiration, I might use it for that.
Dunne, Will. The Dramatic Writer's Companion. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 2009.
Mr. Kay, my mentor, lent me this book to help me to create a compelling plot, story, and characters. One thing I have been struggling with is writing a story that wastes no time and has a plot that is constantly moving along. Because this book is written for playwrights and screenwriters, it emphasizes the dramatic elements of a story, which is important to my story, since the genre is Drama.
Guigar, Brad, interview by Olivia Musselman, September 26, 2018.
Back in September, I conducted an interview with Brad Guigar, a webcomic artist and storytelling professor at UArts, to have him critique the work I had already done and give me advice on storytelling. He told me that my art was set and that I needed to focus on the story. He taught me about the Hero’s Journey, plot, and character development. As a professional webcomic artist, he also gave me advice on formatting the webcomic, especially the lettering. I didn’t write down what he said, but I can still use what I remember in the future. He gave me his book on creating webcomics and invited me to contact him anytime, so I plan on having another interview with him in the future.
Guigar, Brad J. How to Make Webcomics. Image, 2011.
This is a book Brad Guigar, my outside mentor, wrote and gave to me to use as a reference when making my webcomic. Though some of the technology is outdated, I can still use much of the information to make my webcomic. One thing I need to learn how to do is lettering, which he covers in the book.
“Lessons from the Screenplay”, YouTube, https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCErSSa3CaP_GJxmFpdjG9Jw
For the past year, I have been watching the videos from this YouTube channel to help me write my story. Michael, the creator of the videos, analyzes individual movies, compares movies, and looks at a director’s entire work. For example, he might analyze a movie that has a strong 10 pages in the screenplay that quickly establish the movie and hook the viewer. His videos have helped me create a strong hook, a midpoint in my story, character development, and even taught me how to pace the story. This YouTube channel has helped me with the creation of my story more than any other source.
Nieminen, M. (2017). Psychology in Character Design. [ebook] South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences. Available at: https://www.theseus.fi/bitstream/handle/10024/126784/MarikaNieminen_Thesis.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y [Accessed 25 Jan. 2019]
In my story, character development is the driving force of the plot. I plan on looking at how the characters interact with each other, what their motivations are, why they react certain ways, etc. To do this, I needed some sort of background information in Psychology, and this ebook is the perfect source for that. It covers all the topics I mentioned above, as well as the unconscious, the body language, the first impressions, and dialogue, to name a few.
Quimchee. "I Love Yoo." Www.webtoons.com. April 6, 2017. Accessed January 25, 2019. https://www.webtoons.com/en/romance/i-love-yoo/list?title_no=986.
This is another webtoon that has inspired my process and my comic. Much like Winter Woods, I have used this comic as a reference for my own artwork, like experimenting with line art and color, drawing the human figure, and figuring out how to simplify the art to make it easier and faster to draw. It also has helped me understand how to properly pace my story, which is crucial when writing any story, especially a visual story.
Stanton, Andrew. "Transcript of "The Clues to a Great Story"." TED. 2012. Accessed January 25, 2019. https://www.ted.com/talks/andrew_stanton_the_clues_to_a_great_story/transcript?referrer=playlist-how_to_tell_a_story.
Rather than reading another book, this TED talk gives a condensed introduction to writing a great story, as the title suggests. What I found particularly helpful and took away from this TED talk is that when telling any compelling story, the author needs to have every section of the story, especially the ending, in mind so that everything is connected, consistent, and interesting. This was a great resource for me because I want my story to remain consistent like this.
Vogler, Christopher, The Writer’s Journey: Mythic Structures for Writers, 3rd Edition, (Michael Weise Productions, 2007)
This is a well-known and widely used textbook for screenwriters, writers, and novelists that Brad Guigar recommended I read. It analyzes the core of a good story. It says that in essence, every successful story, whether that be a movie, book, or any other format, follows different essential narrative structures and character archetypes. As I am writing out the outline for my story and finishing character designs, I will be referencing this textbook. Though it follows the Hero’s Journey and my story isn’t really about a hero, I can still use the principles to create a well-rounded story.
William Indick, Psychology for Screenwriters, (Michael Wiese Productions, 2004)
Because my story is being told in a visual format, I think reading books made for screenwriters is helpful because film is another visual storytelling format. The plot of my webcomic relies heavily on character development, so I wanted to read a book on psychology to gain a better understanding on different potential conflicts, the effects of trauma, and just why people act the way we do. This book begins by covering the stages of psychosexual development, which affect everything in psychology. It later describes trauma, defense mechanisms, masculinity, and even the psychology of well-written villains. I’ve been using it to plan out my character’s personalities and character developments.