Bill: A Junior Visual Narrative Comic by Daniela Karchmer (2017)
Click to read Artist Statement
My comic is about a dollar bill named Bill. Bill has lived a lonely life, being passed from person to person, carelessly handled and completely mistreated. He is used to this lifestyle and is not surprised when he ends up on the pavement being stepped on. One day, as Bill lays helplessly on the sidewalk of a big city, a man picks him up. Holding Bill, he walks into the grand opening of a pizza shop. With no one in sight, the man hands Bill to the man behind the cash register. Considering that the man is the first customer of this brand new place, Bill is the first dollar used to purchase pizza! He is framed and hung up on a wall. Bill finally receives the recognition he always dreamed of.
During the course of this project, my artistic eye has grown immensely. I became more detail-oriented and I began to care about detail and how much of a toll each individual detail had on the overall story. In order to effectively tell a story using only visuals, every aspect of the comic was important. This was a new method of storytelling for me, considering I am used to strictly writing stories, but I think I developed a new understanding of art. Additionally, I paid more attention to the process of creating my comic. I was aware of what lines had to be drawn first and what colors had to be used first to ensure that everything I wanted was being shown and not overshadowed by an impeding factor such as a darker color or object drawn over it. At first, I struggled with this process because it required me to backtrack several times and fix errors because I hadn’t planned out the order of what I was drawing. Because of this, layering was crucial and definitely helped make the process a lot more efficient. One thing I would change is the details in the background of my panels. While it doesn’t look bad to have a simple, solid color as the background, having small details in the background to set the scene would allow for better imagery of the scene and the storyline. This project made me realize how every person approaches art in a different manner and everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Some of my peers may go a completely different route than me because they are better at something than I am but that is what makes art so unique. Everyone chooses to follow their own path.