Illustrating a Comic Book Poem – The Orb

The Orb again uses the familiar materials of Promarker pens, watercolour paint and ink on watercolour paper. For this Comic Book Poem I gave the paper a light blue wash to give the background some depth and the overall page a hue to make it stand out. For the visuals I wanted to depict a city, hoping to give the Comic Book Poem a sense of location. This city is very sparse and somewhat haphazard. Although it has detail it is still illustrated rather loosely and non-precise. I liked this style and didn’t want to go into too much detail when depicting the city and background.
I carried this approach on with the design and look of the characters. Their design is fairly abstract and atypical. They do not have human traits, which makes it difficult to place them in the real world. I wanted these characters to live in their own place and time and I hope their design conveys this.

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Writing a Comic Book Poem – The Orb

The Orb uses poetry to convey a story of two characters – an evil one and a confused one. These characters are unnamed, but the evil antagonist attempts to draw the indecisive character into a world of hate, crime and money. This hate is presented as a metaphorical object, known as The Orb. The pure character craves The Orb, but tries to resist. The story is fairly straight forward, but it was decided to experiment with text and repetition. We see the inner thinkings of both characters. Their sentences are repeated and seem to plague the conscience of the characters, possibly driving one of them insane.

The text of The Orb can be read below, but it is best experienced with the visuals for the full Comic Book Poem experience.

The Orb

I don’t want money…

Cause where there is money.

There is people like you.

What you really need is…

Something to hold.

Something to look out for.

Fill the hole in your heart

With something so pure.

The Orb.

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The Orb – Comic Book Poem

The final Comic Book Poem of Series 3 is The Orb. Please give it a read below.

The individual Pages are below:

TheOrb - Page1- Comic Book Poem TheOrb - Page2- Comic Book Poem

A slideshow of The Orb is below:

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If you would like to download a PDF of The Orb you can so here.

A Low Resolution PDF can be downloaded from here.

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Private Plays – Illustrated theatre scripts from Do It Theatre

Private Plays is an illustration/theatre project that allows individuals to download theatre scripts and perform short plays. These scripts are approximately 1000 words in length and can be performed by male or female participants. An audience does not need to be present and the performer does not need to be an actor. More information on the project can be found on the Private Plays website.

I am highlighting this project on the Comic Book Poems blog as I am the illustrator for Private Plays and the project bears some resemblance to Comic Book Poems. The illustrations I complete for Private Plays are experimental in nature and make use of different media and styles.

I approach illustrating Private Plays in the same way I illustrate Comic Book Poems. Sometimes an image comes first and I devise a play script around this image. Mostly however I have a story and I look to find different ways to express the story from a visual point of view.

Private Plays are similar to Comic Book Poems in the fact that the content gets collected together and published online as a downloadable zine. As with the collected Comic Book Poems, the collected Private Play Zines can be viewed on tablets, computers, kindles etc.

Please see the Private Plays website for more information and more images. In the coming weeks on the Comic Book Poems website I will be posting links to the downloadable PDF Zines for the Private Plays Series.

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The Orb – Preview – Comic Book Poems


Here is a teaser/preview for the last Comic Book Poem in Series 3. It is called The Orb and will go live on 24 November 2014. Check back at the blog to see the final Comic Book Poem.

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Illustrating a Comic Book Poem – XXXXX

From an artistic point of view xxxxx is fairly straight forward. I used digital techniques to convey the Comic Book Poem. On paper I sketched out brief character designs and panels to present the narrative. From here I scanned the sketches into my computer and then edited the scans in Photoshop. Here I compiled the page together and adjusted the brightness and contrast to view the pencil lines.

This image was then put into Adobe Illustrator where I created the page for xxxxx.

This is a fairly simple approach. I felt that the text for this Comic Book Poem was straight forward and fairly explicit. I wanted the visuals for xxxxx to also express this; therefore we have a bright illustrative style that is presented on the page.


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Writing a Comic Book Poem – XXXXX

The main theme of xxxxx is censorship. Here we see an Anthropomorphic character investigating how censorship can effect people. The character has an inquiring mind. He is half an observer and half activist. For the Comic Book Poem I thought of the idea of censorship first. As with a lot of the Comic Book Poems in this series I liked the idea of an inquisitive mind and someone investigating something new and important. Making the character an animal was purely from a visual point of view and the fact I though the comic would be more fun with an animal character, hence the beaver.
With the majority of Comic Book Poems I avoid using speech bubbles, instead I like to use captions to move the story forward and express the text. Xxxxx is a rare example of the protagonist talking out loud and expressing their thoughts and feelings verbally. I think it works here. The captions show what he is thinking, but he is so angry the only way he can express himself is verbally.


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