Comic Book Storyboarding
With Your Students!

Comic book storyboarding is another storytelling strategy a student group can use to plan a story.

Storyboarding can serve as a bridge for student comic book writers during the original storytelling or between scriptwriting and physical layout of frames/panels for final comic book production.

A storyboard is a set of cards or paper or computer pages that show the sequence of comic frames. The creative team can physically manipulate the cards for best final storytelling effect.

    * The sequence not punchy enough? Too long?
    * Move a card or two into a different place in the story sequence.
    * Remove a frame.
    * Add a frame
    * Present the frame from a different angle.
    * Experiment.

Although storyboarding is especially effective for longer projects, the technique can be applied to planning any visual story. As a teaching and learning tool, it can illustrate revision, point of view, aspects of dialogue writing, and more.

For student use, a 3 x 5 card, or larger, is a good size to use for storyboarding comics. Another feature the comic storyboard has in common with its visual relative, film.

Each comic book artist or creative team will use it own version of a storyboard card. Use the card to quickly sketch in information as you rough out your story. A computerized sheet of cards can be duplicated in large number and cut apart to write and assemble the storyboard for the comic book.

Along with a sketch, each story card item might include notes about:

    * set location
    * time of day
    * characters in the frame
    * mood/light
    * caption
    * dialogue.

The card might also indicate if it is a:

    * change of location/establishing shot
    * splash page.

intermediate student storyboard card

Cinematic shots will establish other information the creator team might wish to include in each storyboard card:

    * viewing angles [hi, med, lo]
    * distance to subject of frame [close-up, med, long].

As the creative team develops the eye of a movie camera operator, the storyboard writing and the comic book improve.

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