Student Exercises

The exercise “The Wrong Planet” in Drawing Words & Writing Pictures (Abel & Madden, 2008) challenges student teams to draw independent scenes about an astronaut going to the wrong planet and then put them all together and create a coherent comic strip. These are Thursday’s results after students corrected for narrative coherency without trying to strip down to the bare minimum number of panels.

comicpinkdark^ This team’s comic has the astronaut arrive on the planet, strip out of his suit, get drunk on the way home, and land on “Planet of the Grapes” instead of Earth. Hmm, maybe the team was inspired by Tuesday’s lecture about Underground comix defying the Comics Code Authority? Points for the awesome close-up of the startled eye.

comicgreendark^ In this team’s strip, the astronaut lands, leaves, and falls asleep at the con, allowing the spaceship to enter a wormhole and land him on another planet. We all liked the countdown panel; I think everyone copied it on the second go-round!

comicyellowdark^ In this team’s strip, the astronaut goes the the planet, leaves, comes back only to be told by an irate scientist that he’d traveled to the wrong planet in the first place — head-slap. This team’s revisions included adding more facial close-ups to make the strip character-driven rather than action-driven.

I love the fact that everybody’s rocket ship looks the same, despite about eight different students drawing it for various panels. It is clearly the archetypical rocket ship!

The exercise nicely moved the class toward next week’s Tuesday lecture on storytelling structure. Professor Terry and I really like this textbook and love seeing our students’ work!

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