Monday, November 24, 2008

Prompt for Final Graphic Memoir

This is it! Your final project for this course! As you know from the syllabus, you are going to complete your own graphic memoir for this course. You have read work by several writers. You have thought about what makes a good graphic memoir and what makes a week one. You have judged the work of others. Now, it's time for you to put all that knowledge and all those opinions to work.

You will create a four to six page graphic memoir. It's a memoir, which means that you should take a moment from your life and tell its story. It's graphic, which means that you should use words and images to tell that story. This is not a huge amount of space, so choose a focus carefully. If you would like to base this graphic memoir on the portrait that you created early in the semester, that would be fine.

There are many options you can use to create this, all of which I will describe in class. For those who do not come to class on Tuesday, November 25, the methods I recommend include:

1) Completing It by Hand: It is very possible to create this by hand, drawing the images and writing out the words or typing out the words and sticking a printout of them with photographs on a piece of paper. Or you may do some combination of techniques. If you choose this method, then I do recommend turning in color photocopies. Keep the original safe.

2) Using Comic Life: If you own a Mac or want to use one in a campus computer lab, then you might want to try out this program. It's what I used to create the first page of the course syllabus. This program was invented just to create documents like this. You'll have to use photographs or scanned images, but this program does make it relatively easy to create panels (and gutters) and add word balloons. If you chose this option, you can create a PDF and take it somewhere that has a color printer, such as the campus printing store in Hillyer.

3) Using Microsoft PowerPoint: PowerPoint does allow you to import images and create word balloons, but you don't have the ease of creating different types of panels. Still, you can use PowerPoint to complete this project if you intend to use photographs or scanned images.

There are other options, too, such as Microsoft Word or graphic design programs like Adobe InDesign. I don't care how you create it. I just want you to have paper copies with you in class the day this due.

When I grade this, I will not be looking at your artistic ability. I will be looking at the ideas behind the artwork. It's possible to earn an A for this assignment by drawing stick figures on a piece of paper if your work shows effort and depth. Remember everything we have gone over in this class. I'll look at how you use the gutter, synaesthetics, and line. When it comes to grading, I'll be evaluating your ability to choose a focus, create coherence, and exhibit details and depth.

Along with the memoir, please write a one to two page statement that describes what you tried to accomplish in this memoir. What choices did you make and why? What parts of the memoirs we read this semester inspired you and why? What parts of McCloud did you try to incorporate into your own work? You can email this statement in .doc or .rtf as long as it arrives before class on Thursday, December 11.

This is all due at the start of class on Thursday, December 13. You should bring two copies to class that day. You will put one copy out for everyone to read and give one copy to me. Color photocopies or printouts will be fine. I will keep my copy on file, and you can take the other with you. If you created the original by hand, then you may want to keep that to yourself in case something happens to these copies.

Be aware that I may invite guests to join us that day such as other faculty and administrators. Many people are interested in what is happening in these first-year seminars, so I may invite them so that they can see.

Warning: I will absolutely not accept any late work for this assignment. If it is not in at the start of class on that day, then you will receive an F for this part of the course. I have been known to go to my office, grade final projects, and turn in those final grades before checking my email or mailbox for late submissions. So no late work for any reason, got it?

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