Archive for the ‘Professional development’ Category


Dream Achieved

Friday, July 20th, 2012

Crossing the Border


In June 2012, I went to Vancouver, B.C. to speak on Digital Storytelling at the Northern Voice Social Media and Blogging Conference. I gathered quite a bit of multimedia in my basket and put it together as a little “this is my professional development” digital story.


My sister Cheryl R. Long asked me about the same time to speak at her artists retreat on “Digital Storytelling as an Art Form.” I ended up talking about something else, but she had gotten it into my head that I needed to start thinking about how to be more artistic in my digital storytelling. This is my first answer to that question.


Mission: DS106 – Return to the Silent Era

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

Fugitive card

Fugitive card

Over the next few weeks, I’d like to look at some of my favorite crime films. Something about cops and robbers grabs me. Maybe it’s the loyalty and betrayal – or the chess match between good guys and bad guys racing to figure out where all the pieces fit before their counterparts do. Emotional and tactical thinking. Passion and prowess. Great directors and performances. Romanticizing childhood. The works.

For my Return to the Silent Era assignment, I decided to rework a trailer for Heat, which I watched three times in the theater when it came out. Since then I’ve watched it a kajillion times on VHS and DVD. Danny Trejo, Jeremy Piven, and Henry Rollins in one film! Hometown star Amy Brenneman!

I grabbed a trailer from YouTube using the Firefox add-on Download Helper.

Then, to begin producing the silent era trailer, I searched the Creative Commons pool on Flickr for a card I could use for titles, dialogue, and credits. I found this card and painted over its text in Acorn.

Next, I watched the trailer a few times to transcribe the dialogue and narration.

After that, I imported the trailer into iMovie and began to work on editing it.

It was a shame to strip out the soundtrack and dialogue. The trailer, like the film, is a gem of both audio and visual editing, pacing, and story-telling. I love the soundtrack, including Moby’s contributions. To preserve some of that pacing, I tried to edit the trailer in such a way that my title, credit, and dialogue cards occupied splits where new dialogue or dramatic beats existed in the original trailer.

After I stripped out the sound, I made the clip black and white. Then I exported it.

Next, I made my title, credit, and dialogue cards in Acorn. I edited out some lines from the original trailer. I also amended or otherwise edited some of the dialogue I used so that it would fit legibly on a card and not take too long to read. I used the STFangSong font because its serif has more curves than corners, like the border embellishment of the cards I used for text.

I opened iMovie again, imported the black and white version of the trailer, and edited in my cards. I made a new card for Regency because its original logo had some animation on it. I left the first Warner Bros. credit alone because it’s a static painting of an iconic trademark; it isn’t so jarringly modern as an animated logo.

After I worked in my cards, I exported the movie again. Then I imported that file back into iMovie. With every new import, I deleted older clips from the editing box in iMovie, but kept them inside the project library for reference so that I could, say, skim the original trailer to see who said what when.

I used the film grain effect in iMovie to age and deform the black and white trailer.

Then I searched for piano riffs to use in the trailer. I wanted something elegiac that sounded unproduced (like a real piano) and that looped like Moby’s theme in the trailer. I found this clip, which had a tinny sound to it, almost as if it had been recorded and played-back on early, low quality audio equipment, or as if it had suffered over time from multiple-transfers to new audio formats on its way into my trailer. I opened Garage Band and played around with layering this loop with other samples from, but I couldn’t make anything that wasn’t way too distracting. Ultimately, I just looped my sample for the length of the trailer. However, I wouldn’t mind trying to score it sometime in the future using Garage Band and a Korg Nano Key or something.

Finally, I exported the grainy, piano-looped silent era trailer, uploaded it, and shared it here.

In watching it again (and again and again as I worked), I think I could have edited out everyone but Pacino and De Niro. I suspect the narrative of this silent era trailer would have worked better in terms of pacing if it had focused exclusively on the main characters and the core dynamic of their relationship with one another. As it is, the silent era trailer feels a little long to me, but that might also be a function of the music I chose or something else that will hit me later.

Mission: ds106 – lyric typography poster design assignment

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Inspired by several campers’ lyric typography posters (2 stars), I decided to go back to this assignment. I passed over it during my design sprint because the first few ideas I tried didn’t work – I wanted to do something purely typographical with the background color being the only non-textual adornment. I couldn’t pull it off by myself. I didn’t really get the examples, which looked good, but didn’t always marry the lyrics and designs in ways I could grok.

My subconscious kicked around a few ideas – I wanted to do something with Radiohead; I played our Florence + the Machine CD on today’s drive to Grammy and Poppy’s.

Here’s what I came up with while working entirely in Acorn.

Florence + the Machine

Florence + the Machine

First, I tackled this Florence + the Machine poster. I had originally thought about using inverted carrots to make teeth for the dog days, but then I decided to try coding some impact into the poster. I used a bold Rockwell font to lend weight and vibrancy to happiness and a few other bits of text. I threw in a bracket and a wide-stanced Bank Gothic font for the hit. I used Cracked (always stop at 3 fonts, Chad!) for “bullet” and rotated some forward and backward slashes to suggest a spider-web of stress fractures from a bullet hole in the middle of the “b”. I also left “bullet” in all lower case to contrast it against the other lines of text which are all capital. Finally, I kerned the last line to -12 (I go past the absolute value of 11) so I could have the text wind back on itself and fit the bottom of the page. I also split it into “in the b” and “ack” so I could make it wind back in a less predictable way. I like the gap. I think it helps punctuate a kind of hard return and possibility of escape up or down the page in the recursive loop that the last line creates. Maybe that’s where the happiness-bullet hole is.

I also worked on a Radiohead poster combining the colors and sans-serif-ness of the In Rainbows album typography (I used a bold Euphemia UCAS font) with lyrics from “Fake Plastic Trees.”

I decided to repeat the line about the town getting rid of itself, omitting one word per iteration so that the quote would get rid of itself. I put the text in a box that takes up most of the page, sized the text to fill the box, and let the line breaks take care of themselves to approximate the random aesthetic common to many pieces of Radiohead art and web design. I love the way the last line doubles itself while disappearing itself. The last bar of background is white to complete the vanishing and create some ambiguity about whether or not there is anything there in an invisible, white font.

Here’s the poster:



I’m very glad I found a way back into this assignment. Thanks, ds106 campers! Learning in community!

In gratitude, let me share this wicked pair of multi-layer stencils of Thom Yorke that a student did as a learning project this year.

Thom Yorke stencil art from a learning project

Thom Yorke stencil art from a learning project

Mission: DS106 – Design assignment sprint

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

It’s great to be at camp during summer vacation.

This week I found another block of time through which to sprint after a number of ds106 design assignments. I had some trouble narrowing down which assignments to tackle until I began them; clearly, I do not yet have the patience or chops for some of the work, so it’s great that the ds106 community has shared so many different ideas for assignments. I hope to contribute some ideas this summer and fall as I try to implement a more ds106/MOOC feel in my middle school classroom.

Here are my basic hardware and software specs for the week: MacBook, OSX 10.6.8, 2.26 GHz Intel Core Duo 2, 2 GB of memory, Chrome, Wacom Bamboo tablet, SketchBook Pro (for drawing), Acorn (for fills and copy).

This week the work is not in any particular order. I made an animated comic book cover that looks pretty crummy next to all the awesome examples out there. I don’t yet have the animator’s patience to pull off a decent attempt, so I’ll pass on sharing for now. It was a simple snikt effect.

I’m becoming interested in how the community categorizes tasks. At times today, I definitely felt like a designer; at other times, I felt more like I was tweaking a pre-existing design for my own education (which seems more like a visual task to me), or mashing-up a number of designs. Some of the visual assignments feel like design tasks, too – like the album cover. I’d love to hear more about how contributors and organizers think of course- and task-design.

By week’s end I’d like to contribute a CC poster, as well.

Before I forget, everyone should watch Nishant Shah’s DML Ignite talk on remixes.

And away we go.

Postcards from Magical Places – 2 stars

I take a ton of screenshots in Minecraft. I love discovering new sights in Minecraft, as well as new perspectives on familiar places. I ask students to take a ton of screenshots, too, so I can share their work easily through blogging. (Teaching in a multi-age classroom in a middle school, I haven’t yet solved the riddle of whole-class social media use, so I try to collect and share as many digital photos and artifacts as possible.)

For this assignment, I looked through my ds106-server screenshots, found a picture I liked, cropped it some, and then appended a snappy postcard/bumper-sticker-ready punchline in Acorn. Lastly, I mocked up a simple back for the card and let it be.

Greetings from @chadsansing's

Greetings from @chadsansing's

Alternative Book Covers – 3 stars

Since I wrote about how much The Road terrified me when I posted my Liminal States story-shape, and since The Road showed up as the exemplar for this assignment, I went back to Liminal States and riffed on my fake album cover assignment; with Liminal States you really can’t go wrong with a boy and his dog.

However, I wanted to use a different image this time around, so I found
“>a picture of a boy dressed as a cowboy riding a dog
in The Commons on Flickr.

I brought the photo into Acorn and composed the rest of the cover there, darkening the bottom band to offer better contrast for the tagline.

The boy dressed up as a cowboy reminds me of my [privileged, white male] love for archetypes, even though many of those archetypes make horrible, horrifying decisions, like the genre-riffing characters of Liminal States. Moreover, in the book, youth – the eternal kind – is not all its cracked up to be. Considering the source material, it’s also significant that the boy and the dog clearly have different ideas about what’s going on and are, in fact, headed – or at least looking – in separate directions. The presence of grass is germane to the novel, as well.

I picked Trajan Pro for the font because it has that somber, elegiac, official feel like the title of a Tom Brokaw book.

The tag line is neither entirely true nor entirely false in its description of the book.

Alt Liminal States

Alt Liminal States

Cartoon You – 2 stars

I’ve cartooned myself many times – some examples can be found here, here, and here. There’s even a short comic I drew about the first year of our school out there in a filing cabinet somewhere.

I find using a cartoon alter ego to be very helpful in breaking up the monopoly that text holds over my blogging, and I like to use drawings in class materials, as well. Cartooning is a good way to and bring some humor to the engrimmening proceedings of American public education.

For this assignment I wanted to draw myself differently than I normally do, so I went online and searched after
“>an image of Savoy from the comic
Chew as drawn by series-artist Rob Guillory. (I have no idea why I’ve never cosplayed Phillip Seymour Hoffman playing Chris Farley playing Savoy, but I know I could rock it.) I like Guillory’s style – it’s cartoony, dynamic, busy; as with Jeffery Brown’s completely different work, it makes me think I could draw a comic. It gives me hope.

I tried to capture Guillory’s sense of Savoy’s form, but left much of the interior clean, as I tend to do in larger work; paradoxically (maybe)I detail little doodles like crazy. I also colored myself for a change since I usually work in black and white.

I drew myself in SketchBook Pro using a 2.5-sized brush rather than a 4.0-sized one so that I my line would look more like Guillory’s and less like mine. I began with a blue-line drawing and then added a layer for a black-line drawing to bring into Acorn. Then I deleted the blue-line layer, switched to Acorn, and colored myself.

Thumbs up, Tiger.

Cartoon Chad

Cartoon Chad

I Can Read Movies – 3 stars

What a cool assignment. I love spacesick’s book covers.

To make my own, I went for a popular, yet nerdy, property – The Lord of the Rings. In looking at spacesick’s use of patterns, I decided to use a ring motif to build Mount Doom and to perch Suaron’s eye atop it. I used a different color/material for each level of rings: silver for the Elves, bronze for the Dwarves, and iron for the humans. While that progression isn’t canonical, I used it to bring more color to the page and to communicate of how Middle Earth rank-orders its species. I could have made the other rings all white and left the one ring golden, but I am not at all unhappy with this design. I wonder also about linking the rings to show their interconnectedness in a chain-mail kind of way.

I used Acorn to compose the cover. I read up on spacesick’s fonts
. The projector is the only element I lifted directly from any of spacesick’s covers.

Finally, I opened the image in SketchBook Pro for some final touches with textured brushes to worry the cover.

I’m really eager to see more of these designs from the ds106 community.

spacesick-inspired LotR cover

spacesick-inspired LotR cover

Chilren’s Book Cover – 0 stars

I’m not sure why this assignment is worth zero stars; I think it should get two.

For this task, I decided to make a children’s book cover for a hard science fiction novel – House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds. I love that book. It gives me hope.

My cover, however, gives me the giggles. It’s so profanely incongruous – and yet so weirdly apt – that it delights me.

House Of Suns for kids

House Of Suns for kids

I drew the cover in SketchBook Pro and then colored and lettered it in Acorn.

As I hunted down stray pixels in Acorn, I discovered that it’s much easier to draw and paint in that program while zoomed in a level or two (this is both an a-ha and a duh moment). I still prefer SketchBook Pro for drawing, but it was satisfying to find a way to draw and color productively in Acorn, as well. At the default zoom, even a medium-sized brush can disappear on-screen in Acorn because its reticle isn’t persistent. That means if you’re trying to paint stray pixels in Acorn without zooming in, you lose the tip of your brush if your brush color is the same color as your background. That frustrated me greatly, but now I know that it’s easier to keep track of your brush tip while zoomed.

I hope others will jam on the idea of making children’s book covers for novels meant for adults.

Minimalize Your Philosophy – 2 stars

Aude aliquid dignum: dare something worthy. I try to approach teaching and learning as if they were the most worthy things I could do and help others do. I think it’s important to ask kids to do worthy work. I think it’s important that teachers dare to resist the standardization of education. I think it’s important and worthy that we talk about how to subvert the status quo in our primary and secondary schools so that learning matters to kids, their families, and their communities. So here it is:

Aude aliquid dignum

Aude aliquid dignum

I made the image in Acorn. I tried to minimalize the sans-serif text’s presence on the page without making it illegible (I probably cut too much of the “g”). Then, while trying to stay away from the Dr. Manhattan symbol, I made a little hydrogen atom to frame the words, with the “e” inside the electron. Hydrogen is a pretty minimalist element, but the proton and electron are also the building blocks of everything else. Hydrogen can exist by itself, but atoms do great and terrible things together. We humans can do the same, inside and outside Minecraft, a game about building – and/or destroying – alone and/or in a community!

I put another atomic particle in the upper right-hand corner so that the eye would be drawn there in an attempt to connect the two white spaces with one another over distance, which made me think that maybe the electron (which wants to create a bond) is also little person or organism looking to the stars and wondering how to connect with another being over a vast distance. I think connecting is worth daring.

Minimalist TV/Movie Poster – 3 stars

I didn’t want to burn out on minimalism early this the week, so I picked this assignment and shelved the minimalist movie travel poster for now.

Richard Ayoade plays the character Moss on the British sitcom The IT Crowd. Moss’s hair is absolutely iconic.

I found a CC-licensed picture of a glorious, insanely detailed, embroidered Moss, brought it into SketchBook Pro, and traced over Moss’s hair and glasses. I used green in homage to the show’s pixelated, primitive CGI credit sequence. Then I went into Acorn to fill it in and clean-up white speckles left over in Moss’s hair and glasses.

Minimal Moss

Minimal Moss

DS106 Propaganda Posters – 3 stars

For this piece, I searched The Commons on Flickr for propaganda. I went into my search looking for an ad or poster about building a shelter. I wanted to make a visual pun on our Minecraft work. However, when I found this picture, I switched gears. I hate Creepers. I’m playing the ds106 server on survival mode right now, and the Creepers have not been kind. If you look at my stretch of the beach on the server (behind camp), you can see how much Creeper damage I’ve had to patch. Finding a way to rally against the Creepers was just what I needed to lift my spirits.

I grabbed a CC-licensed picture of some Creeper cosplay. I took a screen shot of the head and cut out the background in Acorn. Then I brought in the propaganda poster. I used the scale and perspective transformations to size, angle, and position the Creeper heads. Then I made the heads monochromatic and color-matched them to their bodies.

Beat the Creeper

Beat the Creeper

Now I’m ready to go back on the sever. I hope someone will put this poster into a ds106 texture pack for Minecraft!

DS106, The Movie – 3 stars

#DontBlogNow starring Martha Burtis and Alan Levine. Somehow featuring the Bava, Timmmyboy, and Slaughterhouse 4. I did a lot of cutting, filling, and smudging in Acorn. I grabbed the movie poster here. I found Martha here and I found Alan here. I sepia-toned their faces, shrunk their heads, and then altered their saturation and brightness to help their faces better fit the gestalt of the photo in the poster.



I love how different their expressions are, as if Martha has caught on to something that Alan is asking about again. “A serial killer in a red raincoat? Really? Was that a deliberate design decision? Where?” “Over-ay ere-thay, Alan-ay! Et’s-lay o-gay!”. Why someone snapped a photo of them at this moment I will never know.

I picked Don’t Look Now to avoid making a quick and easy visual pun about a movie I loved. I despise Don’t Look Now. I loathe that movie. I will never go to Venice. I refuse to look at myself passing on a boat. Forget it.

I will, however, spend hours remixing the film’s poster.

I just wish I was better at digital production – I really like the way the poster turned out, but I wanted it to be perfect, like my utter, unutterable, intangible, illogical contempt for this Don’t Look Now.

That’s it for today’s products. As I go further into the ds106 experience, I’m trying to stick with at least a few assignments per week that push me out of my comfort zone. I also want to balance the camp nature of camp with the profundity of the learning experience available to me here. I need to socialize more with my fellow campers, too.

I try to teach to what kids are doing in my classroom; in the same way, I’m learning to design what I discover instead of trying to design what I plan. It feels good.

ds106 – Make a monochrome photo

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Today I mashed up the Daily Create with the “An Album Cover” Mission: DS106 visual assignment. Last time I attempted the cover, I ditched some of the random elements (the name of the album, the album art), so – after catching fellow campers’ work – I wanted to design a more random cover in the spirit of the assignment.

So here is the cover for List of Women’s Football Clubs in Spain’s new album, I am not mad.

I am not mad by List of Women's Football Clubs in Spain

I am not mad by List of Women's Football Clubs in Spain

I captured a square screen shot from the original image and dragged it into Acorn. I cut out the dog. Then I applied a green monochrome filter to the rest of the image and adjusted its saturation and brightness. I picked green because of the lush vibrancy of the original photo.Then I pasted the dog back in, blurred it, and bulged its head. I wanted to isolate and transform the dog from the rest of the image to create some ambiguity about the album’s title and its speaker or subject.

I inserted the text thinking about this week’s photo tips encouraging the use of a 9-square grid for arrangement elements in an image. If the boy and the dog make up the skewed squares on either side of the image, I hope the lettering fits into the squished middle squares in a complementary way.

Mission: ds106 – visual assignment sprint

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

I found some time over the past two days to sprint through a handful of Mission: DS106 visual assignments. My notes are spread over a few devices (including my favorite red-covered Moleskine), but I’ll try to get my thoughts in order and give a full accounting of each assignment. I’ll present them in asynchronous order by complexity, from what felt like the least complex task to the most complex one.

For these activities, I used a MacBook running OSX 10.6.8 on a 2.26 GHz Intel Core Duo 2 with 2 GB of memory. Chrome is my current browser of choice. When I talk about drawing or coloring something, I mean “drawing or coloring something with a Wacom Bamboo tablet.” (These are like my global variables, thus called.)

Stories Written in a Window – 3 stars

I wrote Still Alive and Climbing the Walls in iTunes. I tried to pick songs that reflected what I have on this computer (which carries only a bit of my poor, neglected-on-an-external-hard-drive music collection). I also tried to include a few songs by friends and friends of friends that I hope folks will go out and find and/or hear on DS106 Radio.

Most of what I listen to is pop of one kind or another, so I wrote a love story. Here it is:

"Still Alive and Climbing Up the Walls"

Replay Value – 3 stars

I call this one The Love Triangle. Though the assignment is worth 3 stars, I’ll only claim one here. I’m not entirely satisfied with the result, but something about it’s glaring artificiality defies any further editorial meddling from me.

"Love Triangle"

For this piece, I imagined Steve, Pip Boy, and Journey’s Protagonist meeting in a desert (alas, alack, and rue the day, I couldn’t find any cc-licensed pictures of Lucky Wander Boy).

On Flickr, I found cc-licensed pictures of each of these characters being cos-played. Here are Steve, Pip-Boy, and the

I used Acorn (my trial is almost up, so I am sad) to ditch the backgrounds by using the magic wand to outline and then cut the characters out of the pictures. I then saved just the characters as .pngs with transparent backgrounds.

Then I brought everybody into ComicLife against a desert-climate Minecraft screenshot I took from the DS106 server as viewed from my own computer. I used ComicLife to compose the piece because I wanted to add a witty caption or bit of dialogue. However, after seeing the look in Steve’s eyes, I decided to keep quiet.

Since Steve is armed, I put the characters into a triangle and imagined them embroiled in some kind of emotional struggle with one another – how does one adapt to finding other people where there should be none? What emotional habits kick in once we enter community?

Comic Book Effect – 1 star

I used Photo Booth to grab a silly picture of myself and then headed over to Acorn to throw a half-tone dot effect over it. Once I achieved half-tonality, I opened up ComicLife and set up a half-Dark-Knight-Returns, half-Scott-McCloud, half splash-page layout to show myself sitting the Marvel Way. I look just like my dad looks when he plays video games, but he sometimes sticks out his tongue. Like Jordan. My dad is the man.

"Sitting Down the Marvel Way!*"

Draw it. – 2 stars

I remain drawn to the portrait I used for my Daily Create trace drawing. The amount of detail in the photograph captivates me – it speaks to the part of my brain that has been filling up bookscovers and meeting agendas with cartoon eyes, cross-hatching, flames, flowers, spirals, and stick-figure legs since 1990. I went back to the same portrait for this exercise and the next.

I wanted to find a combination of filters that made the portrait look like a pencil drawing while preserving the volume of the subject’s beard. I clicked through a number of combinations in Photoshop Elements 9, and eventually settled on the pencil cross-hatch effect combined with fully desaturated colors and dust and scratched noise to soften the cross hatching and add volume back to the beard.

"Beard with Volume"

Warhol Something – 3 stars

This was the first visual activity I tackled. I found myself using several different programs to get it done. Each program had bits that seemed intuitive to me, and each had bits that seemed obtuse, so I bounced back and forth between them at my whim.

I went back to my portrait and pasted it into SketchBook Pro. I added a layer and colored in different areas with colors that appealed to me in vaguely Warholian ways.

Then I went to Acorn and used the magic wand to prune a copy of the original image so that I would up with a layer of details I could paste over the colored image in SketchBook Pro in hope of creating a silk-screen effect.

I dig it.

"Beard with Warhol"

An Album Cover – 2 stars

My random Wikipedia search turned up Konrad I, Duke of Glogow. I rolled through his dad’s page and found the Piast Dynasty and its arms.

From there I did a cc-license search for Piast on Flickr and found a sculpture of the arms.

At that point I decided to try something inspired by the work of Rose Chase, a high school drama club pal, who designs for the Lower Dens, a Baltimore-based band.

I am no Rose Chase, but I went into Photoshop Elements 9 and equalized the images of the Piast arms. Next I put a blue photo filter on the image, blurred it five times, and desaturated the colors. To create the band of arms, I threw a 4-panel kaleidoscope effect on the arms, separated out the lower elements, and stitched them back on to the side of the upper elements. I drew, shadowed, and copied a few gold chevrons to represent one of the Piast colors and Konrad’s military victories. Finally, I dropped in the band and album names, adjusting the kerning on “Konrad1″ and the line spacing on “The Duke of Glogow.” I picked Trebuchet MS – a favorite sans-serif font of mine – and pink so that the lettering would conserve some interior weight and pop a bit.

Get ready for the drop:

"Konrad1 - Duke of Glogow"

Picturing Prufrock – 3 stars

I love comic books covers by Brian Bolland and Jim Steranko, and I staggered after them here.

First, I printed and read the poem, marking up lines that spoke to me. Then I started sketching street signs in my Moleskine. Pretty quickly, I decided on iterating a picture of a faceless man whittling a mask while seated on a pile of discarded faces. I gave him some shirt-sleeves because why not?

I went into SketchBook Pro and did a blue-line drawing, which is something I picked up from traditional comic book pencilling – artists sometimes layout a page in blue pencil (which doesn’t photocopy) before drawing “finished” pencils on the page for photographing and inking.

"Blue-line Prufrock"

On top of the blue-line sketch I drew a black-line picture of the man and his faces.

"Black-line Prufrock"

After that, I opened Acorn to get rid of the background and keep the figure and faces.

I added a nerve filtered to translucency in a layer behind the figure, and behind that I added a circular patten, coloring every other ring yellow as the fog curling around the house (sorry – couldn’t help it). I also inserted a text layer in a modern font with the lines that inspired the work.

I saved the image and exported it as a .jpg. I brought the .jpg into comic life and added the marquee lettering, which I wanted to be a bit jarring – this would be a Vertigo title, no? I used our bunkhouse logo for the publisher’s imprint and priced the comic according to my ever-loving whim. Finally, I added a lovely portrait called “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” and pushed it to the back of the image to take care of some of the negative space underneath the circles. I liked using a huge face that someone shot to represent the poem because it fit with what interested me about the poem this time around – the creative donning and murderous abandonment of different faces and identities.

Here is the cover as it stands around, maudlin and modern:

"Prufrock - the Comic"

I’m still processing all the work, but I felt delighted and surprised throughout by how some pieces defied my expectations of myself and came out much better – or even much worse – than I imagined. I would like to practice enough visual arts this summer to get a better feel for the kinds of tools and design approaches that can consistently get me into a flow state in pursuit of work that delights me. And I want to connect it all to what I’m learning about coding while noodling about in the shallowest kiddie pools of HTML, CSS, Javascript, and game design.