Hanging In: A Junior Visual Narrative Comic by Jacob Martin (2017)
Click to read Artist Statement
I made this story to represent my interest in wilderness survival and survival stories. Inspired by Danny Boyles’ 127 Hours starring James Franco, my graphic novel features a person stuck in a tree after a paragliding accident and his struggles to reach the ground. During this project, I learned to use Adobe Illustrator with confidence. Before making this graphic novel, I had no experience with Adobe Illustrator whatsoever. Now I have the ability of making a visual representation of any of my thoughts stories or ideas. My biggest struggle during this project was before it even began. I had trouble narrowing down the number of panels to fit one page. I originally had over ten panels that represented the rising action and climax alone. I overcame this by learning to compact multiple panels into one. For example, to represent my main character swinging on a rope, instead of making three different panels (one for the beginning, middle and end of the swing) I combined them into one panel that features three drawings of my character swinging lapsed over each other.
I am most proud of the color combination of my graphic novel. All of the colors featured have an earthy tone and they all match together very well to create a "clean" feel. I have gotten multiple comments mentioning how smooth it looks. I feel that this is not only because of the colors but also the detail and consistency I went to while using the pen tool. Everything in my graphic novel has a black outline with a size three stroke, while each panel border has a black outline with a size six stroke. I also made sure to not leave any jagged edges or sharp lines to distract the eye to keep a natural tone. After completing this project I have gained a lot of respect for other Adobe Illustrator artists. I understand how difficult and frustrating some of the tools in illustrator can be to use.