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Florida Gulf Coast University
10501 FGCU Blvd, South
Fort Myers, FL 33965-6565
(239) 590-1000 or (800) 590-3428



Senior Project APRIL 2017

I have always been fascinated with the capacity of comic books and graphic novels to create an ongoing narrative for a character through several volumes and arcs. Leafing through page after page of glossy art you can find yourself captivated by the world of comic books. My earliest experience of reading comic books was always special to me, and helped to define how I consume art and literature in my life. My father would often buy my brother and I copies of original Marvel comics and it was one of the forms of entertainment that we could bond over. Comic books offered a method of escape while also being a type of journey that in many ways novels and movies can’t accomplish. While novels are limited by text but are boundless in your imagination, comic books take a special approach by supplementing text with imagery. Comics, unlike movies, present a sequential story through staggered images that travel in time in a non-continuous manner, requiring a special dose of imagination and reader participation. Comic books offer a perfect realm to balance story and action, and allow readers to move through the story at their own pace. I feel that makes the comic-reading experience fuller and even cinematic despite existing on printed pages. Because of these elements and my personal history it made complete sense for me to decide to create a graphic novel for my senior project.

The process of creating a gra
phic novel is not an easy one. It requires a strong narrative, engaging characters and above all else, powerful images. I find there is something special in creating your own world, populating it with a cast of characters from your head and translating it into visuals so that others can accompany you on the journey. Because of my interest in Western comics and Asian manga, I drew elements from both to create a panel design and layout that provided an easily digestible yet unique experience for the reader. In a total of 20 pages I tell the story of a boy entering an alternate world to face many trials in order to gain the strength and understanding he needs to save the life of someone precious to him. Scout, the protagonist, is the focus for this story, and in an alternate reality he meets a cast of characters who assist him on this journey before facing a dark and powerful antagonist near the very end. I wished to follow the similar style shared by many of the comics and graphic novels I grew up reading: the story of a hero with a burdensome task who must find the tools and inner strength to accomplish the challenge.

My process of creating my graphic novel, Liminality, began with storyboarding and visual studies to plan and develop the panels and characters. The artwork evolved in response to the storyline, and stylistic decisions were made to represent the shift between worlds explored in the narrative. To begin the coloring process the images were digitally scanned and manipulated to further develop the hand-drawn art, and they were then inserted into panels and paired with the accompanying text. For the digital design work I moved back and forth between Adobe Photoshop, Paint Tool Sai and my Wacom bamboo drawing tablet. For this exhibition, I have provided both printed physical copies of the graphic novel and a digital representation because I personally feel that holding a physical comic book is an entirely different experience from viewing images on a monitor. Because of the shift in technology digital versions of comics are increasingly accessible, however I believe that the tangible, printed comic offers a level of human connection not possible through digital means.