The full comic for Exercise 35 – Educational strip, can be viewed via the link:
Audience – Young children about to hit puberty
Key Words – children, educational, panels, humour
Responding to words – youth, puberty, hair, body, unknown, growing, uncertain, moods, knowledge, humour and changing
Generate ideas –
Some images that inspired – Pinterest Boards
As humour was a key word I wanted to keep the information being conveyed light and easy to follow. As this was a brief educational strip and not an information booklet, the information included would be only lightly introduced and not heavy in content.
The easiest way to convey this would be either through a neutral source or a direct source. I chose to go with a character who is of the same age and a little bit of a ‘wise girl’ as she gets her information earlier than most and likes to share it.
I also wanted to try revisiting comic strips as a way to convey the message through humour.
Research – in order to know what information to include and what to leave out, I visited a number of websites and downloaded various pdf leaflets and booklets on the subject. Most of these adopted a very informal cartoon type character which expressed the things that happen to us with humour.
When important and formal conversation was required, it defaulted to diagrams and texts so that it was clear there was important information being discussed.
The ones that I found to be most helpful were definitely the ones with a character sketch done with a distinct style and sense of humour. It softened the intake of facts.
The links are listed below:
These are the sketches I ended up with as I doodled various images. I felt that they were chirpy and friendly but also a little tongue in cheek with the humour and I could imagine the conversations with them.
The images were also very sketchy as I didn’t want a formal image with a solid colour. I wanted to play with the backgrounds a bit and use foam and other materials that you would find in the classroom.
Using foam I created the panels I wanted and scanned them into Photoshop.
I tried scanning in some objects too but I found it wasn’t really working and so I left it out of the final batch of images. It was originally going to be a background of pencils and pens behind the background.
I then went into photoshop and moved about the sketches, added some speech bubbles and adapted them to suit the characters. A quick sketch earlier with the characters including the text had worked well so I didn’t want to deviate too much from that and lose the energy from it.
The final comic works to inform children about the fact that puberty happens and will happen to them and there are certain things that you can watch out for. Hopefully the main message of how everyone experiences it is also conveyed, as I feel that the information can always be obtained from somewhere on what actually happens, but feeling included and having a sense of belonging to the club is probably more important during this process of growing up.
I asked my OCA group on Facebook for some feedback and they were great so I went back and made some changes. Some of the feedback related to not being able to see the characters and the bubbles being too white. So I went for a clean colour on all and this is what I got:
The bubbles have been toned down and the uniform colour makes it a lot easier to read! Nice one on the ladies that gave me the time to review and give honest and very helpful feedback. They’re a great bunch on the page.
New version here: