When I began work on the next volume of Grammar Comics, I knew I wanted to make some changes from the previous editions that I had done a few years ago. For one thing, I wanted to use completely different characters. I was better at drawing now and had some better designs for characters from other projects, and instead of updating the looks of the old people I decided to start fresh. I also decided that instead of having just two characters, I would have a cast of characters that rotated through.
Here is the first attempt I made, which I actually decided to abandon midway through the inking stage:
This approach probably would have worked fine, but there were a few problems. One was that I never found a good home for the sentences, and to make them big enough I had to crows everything else out. I also was not fond of the “teachy” aspect of the comic – I figured there had to be a better way to do this other than just have one person talking to the reader while another person “demonstrated” what was going on. Don’t kids get enough of that at school?
Actually, this is the second attempt at a concept. The first never made it past the blue pencil stage. It that one I had THREE characters going: the girl was explaining vague pronouns to the guy while a third character, a little girl, was acting out the sentences. This approach involved too many characters per panel.
I was disappointed to have to abandon this one, as I felt like the artwork was really good. I’m especially proud of the inking. Oh well. Great artwork can never save a bad idea.
So on to the final draft:
Now we’re down to two characters, which is a lot easier to work with. There’s no teaching involved – the characters demonstrate the problem through their dialogue. I was also able to make it funnier this way, and there was now more room to come up with goofy concepts to present the ideas.
Grammar Comics: Sentence Problems can be purchased here.