Thursday, March 13, 2008

Relating Web Comics to Making Animated Cartoons

Web comics are certainly not limited to any set form or pattern. But for most people the initial idea of a web comic is very much related to the traditional sequential art form of print comics, or newspaper or magazine comic panels or strips. So for the purposes of this article I think I’ll keep the focus on that more traditional format with the eventual goal of expanding that view point to more cutting edge forms in future articles.

You might ask, “Why would anyone interested in cartoon film making be interested in web comics?” After all, in their traditional format, web comics are static art. That is true and that also is one of their attractions for would be film makers. Web comics are a great medium in and of themselves but they are also a great training ground for film makers.

You might think of a web comic as being similar to a story board, but really it is much more than that.
Web comics are an excellent way to develop your characters, and your stories. Comic art in general requires the artist to choose the most important poses that convey the most information about an action. They require the artist to plan and utilize scenes and shots cinematically just like in a film. They also hone your dialog writing skills.

“Why not just make animated cartoons instead?” you might ask. The simple answer is that learning and mastering many of the correlated skills of cartoon making and film is much faster and easier in the static comic form. It removes much of the complexity, letting you focus on the essentials and therefore makes for an excellent learning environment. Coloring, lighting, points of view, strong poses, shot selections all can be studied in detail when producing a web comic. Even story pacing and learning to construct good stories can be explored. So don’t overlook a web comic as a great training ground and as a development platform for your cartoon film making.


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