Graphic Narrative Evaluation

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For my graphic narrative I decided to focus on the theme of superpowers and individuality. My concept was to photograph a handful of individuals and ask them what their passion or best asset was, and portray it as it as a superpower.

To do this, I photographed three of my classmates in the photography studio at college, using the lights and the fan provided. Then, I took the pictures and opened them on Adobe Photoshop, to create the comic like effect which enhances the superhero theme. To create this effect I added a comic style filter and adjusted it to look like how it looks in my final piece. I then added a white border on each individual photo to again highlight the comic style theme of my graphic narrative. This border also highlights the content of the image and makes the photo pop. After this, I brainstormed the text I would use to highlight my concept and tell my story. I then wrote each line up individually and placed it roughly where I wanted it to be on my design. I created black rectangles with a white frame and copied it onto the software, which I felt represented the comic strip theme well as this is generally how text is presented in comics. Finally, I designed the shape of a superhero mask on Adobe Illustrator, and copied it onto Photoshop and adjusted the colour and the filter to overlay, before placing it onto the individuals faces.

For narrative structure, my graphic narrative doesn’t particularly follow a certain story based narrative as it is less of a story and more of a motivational design. Because of this it is hard to judge whether it is an open or a closed narrative. However, it is clear to see that my graphic narrative follows a single strand. There is only one perspective used which is a positive one and there is no other threads or leads in the story.

In terms of image construction, the texture of my graphic narrative is a comic strip style. The reason I have done this is it reflects my theme of superheroes well as the majority of superheroes originate from comics. In addition to this for image construction, the captions on my graphic narrative are bold and presented within a black box with as white frame. This is to also reflect the comic theme as in comics there is little text and instead smaller captions which are often boxed.

The cultural context that links to my graphic narrative is pop culture. This is because my graphic narrative is all about combining individuality with the pop culture theme of superheroes. Superheroes are a common part of British and American pop culture, such as Spiderman, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc. so my graphic narrative links to this as I portray the same theme.

For production processes I focused on feedback response. I asked some class mates to point out 5 flaws in my graphic narrative and 5 things which were positive.

For flaws, one of the mentioned factors was that the comic style texture was not strong enough. You could say that the images still look like unedited photographs so it would be more effective if I increased the levels of the filter. Another small flaw is that the third mask doesn’t look as realistic as the first and second due to the brighter choice of colour meaning the overlay filter of the mask doesn’t compliment as well. A third flaw that was pointed out was that the placement of the captions is not aligned as well as it could be due to the fact that aligning the captions in perfect symmetry can be difficult, even with the assistance of the ruler tool. Fourthly, a flaw that was mentioned was the fact that not all of the text was evenly sized and equal in proportion. Lastly, a flaw was that some of the photos needed cropping so the proportions of the photos to make the images align symmetrically are slightly off.

In terms of positive factors, one factor a classmate mentioned was that as a whole my graphic narrative followed the comic style format effectively and that my superhero theme was strongly present, due to the brightness of the superhero masks in contrast to the rest of the colour theme. In addition to this, another positive that was mentioned was that the photographs capture the personality of the individuals well, through the postures and positioning of the frames. Thirdly, the texture of the photographs which has been edited strongly enhances the comic style theme due to it’s hand/digitally drawn appearance, highlighting the superhero concept. A fourth point is that the masks (primarily the first two) were designed well and the overlay filter makes them look realistic and well placed. Lastly, a good factor about my graphic narrative is how each photo is placed out. I conducted a photoshoot and shortened down which pictures I wanted. For the first person, I ordered the images specifically so the first picture didn’t show her face, and then in the image opposite it did. I did this because a superhero convention is that they don’t always show their identity right away – they usually remain a mystery for a certain amount of time. In addition to this, I decided that the first group photo would only reveal the first superhero and not the other two as this highlights that they are still shrouded in mystery.

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