The Magnificent Adventures of Morbelle the Bacteria: A Junior Visual Narrative Comic by Cipriana Sorenson (2017)
I created my comic, entitled Morbelle’s Magnificent Adventures in Adobe Illustrator. Using Illustrator to draw my comic proved to be a true learning experience. I had been both curious and apprehensive about Illustrator because it has a bit of a reputation for being a challenging program with a steep learning curve and the potential to make seemingly simple tasks be convoluted and confusing. At the beginning of the Narrative Unit, I began to learn Illustrator in class and I found that it was not as intimidating as I expected. This turned out to be a premature judgment, because when I began seriously working on my project later in the Unit, I discovered the horrors of unorganized layers and confusing tools. I also had trouble getting used to Illustrator’s interface because when I started on the comic I was so used to working in Photoshop. However, the more I worked in Illustrator, the more I was able to get used to Illustrator and gain a working knowledge of how to use it to finish tasks efficiently. I hate having things unorganized so I learned to keep my Illustrator layers, of which there are often hundreds in one file, very tidy. To do so for my comic, I grouped all of the layers of a panel together. Then I nested layers under the umbrella layer of a given Panel by what was being drawn, e.g. the background of the first panel would go in the Background layer under the layer Panel 1. Then the stairs in the first panel would be nested inside the Background layer. Without good layer organization, Illustrator would have been a lot more painful for me to use than it and it’s learning curve are on their own. In addition to learning Illustrator, I am pleased with how I was able to translate my comic from its original form as a work of Flash Fiction to a Graphic Novel, to its final form as an eight panel Comic. Creating the Flash Fiction and the subsequent Graphic Novel and Comic based on my writing taught me how to preserve a story while simultaneously changing the form it’s told in.