This was a project for my 2D class, where I wrote a story, laid out the page arrangements, and drew a short comic book in Adobe Illustrator. The comic is called The Therapist and is about the irony of an unstable person healing other people before helping herself.
The first step was figuring out the story and planning the layout of the panels. Below is a free-write in which I loosely put together the various elements I wanted to include.
The first page will consist of an anxious older man who is in a therapy session with our main character, The Therapist. He is telling her about his constant state of nihilism and how it interferes with his daily life and the SSRIs prescribed to him weren’t really working, and The Therapist simply nods along until he’s finished and then writes a note with an expensive prescription of sedatives for him to take to the psychiatrist. With that, the therapy appointment is concluded and The Therapist is done for the day. She ushers her client out and begins walking home.
When she arrives back at her apartment, we see that it is messy and cluttered with bottles and loose papers all over. The Therapist pulls out a bottle of bourbon and turns on the TV. On the screen, we see a headline along the lines of, “ARE SHAWN AND CAMILA DATING??” She clicks the remote and in the next panel the screen switches to a reality TV show scene. She clicks it again in the next panel and it switches to NatGeo. Satisfied, she takes a long swig from her bottle.
The next few panels are images of animals and nature. One of those panels is of a group of gazelles running from a lion. The Therapist wonders why she isn’t a gazelle, and then starts to imagine herself as one. Her roommate comes home and finds her passed out on the couch, surrounded by bottles the roommate bought. Annoyed, she tries to shake The Therapist awake, berating her for her irresponsibility, but eventually just lays a blanket over her and turns the TV off.
The next morning, The Therapist wakes up with a sore back; she realizes she slept on top of a bottle. She rushes to her office and the next few panels depict her listening to clients, generally tuning out, cashing in on selling prescriptions, and feeling a little disappointed in herself. She apologizes out loud to one of the clients, going off on a bit of a tangent, and they look a little confused. “Would you like to switch spots for a minute?” they ask and The Therapist looks horrified. She refuses and apologizes again.
There will be a bit of inner monologue on this page, where The Therapist decides she needs to take a break to travel and see the world. As she looks through plane tickets and hotel prices, she realizes how expensive and crazy an idea it is to just leave everything she has built here. Her roommate tells her that she needs to take some type of break though, and The Therapist agrees. Her eyes go to the couch. She grabs a bottle and heads over, turning the TV on. On the screen, we see a headline that says, “WILL TAYLOR AND KATY FIGHT TO THE DEATH?” She clicks the remote and we see a reality TV show. She clicks it again and it goes to NatGeo. In the last panel, she smiles and concludes that it’s like she’s in the savanna herself.
I then moved onto hand-sketching the layout of the panels in my notebook, taking into consideration camera angles, character and object placement, and text distribution.
Comic Sketches; Graphite
The final step was to recreate it all in Adobe Illustrator. I designed a colored cover and backside and added a faux copyright page.
Comic Book; Adobe Illustrator