Gag Panel

I am in a class now at the Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC). It is a Certificate Program in Comics and/or Graphic Novels. So every week there is a new homework assignment. It seems so far that the content of our comics assignments are generated semi-automatically, with a lot of the angst of decision making removed. For instance, the first assignment was to create a gag panel. The way this was arrived at was to draw panels from a series of prompts (ex: Draw something funny, draw something sad, etc.) We did the same with captions (write down something you overheard today, write down a popular catch phrase or slogan, etc.) When we had generated a certain number of captions and panels, we then had to exercise our editorial acumen by mixing, matching, choosing and producing a finished panel based on the exercise. I was happy to develop the gag by this means because I am lousy at inventing jokes. Punchlines just aren't my style. Here is the result:

Got some comments back from the instructor: "The one thing that throws me is the trash cans and junk..... they seem to blend into the dog's back. Maybe spotting some black there would help? Or leave off the shading?"

I'm not good at using contrast to differentiate objects. I always make the mistake of using too many lines, confusing and compromising the readability of the image. I found this helpful hint in How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way :

Dowp! I suppose that's why I need to be in a comics class, in order to practice economy in visual representation. Thanks, Jack.