During January 2014 I took part in a special Exhibition involving cardboard. The exhibition was called Discardboard and it took place at the Forest Centre Plus art space in Edinburgh. In total 40 artist exhibited work and I presented Story Box – a comic book made out of cardboard.
Story Box was an experiment in taking comic books away from the page and the digital and presenting them as a physical object. Cardboard seemed like the perfect medium to do this. It is customisable, durable and cheap.
I developed a 4 page story that could be read in any order. The content of the story reflected the experimental nature of the Story Box comic book. The story involved a young boy who could not communicate.
To be accepted into the exhibition I had to write a proposal. I have included this proposal below. As you will read the final artwork changed slightly while I completed it. I had never created a comic book using cardboard before, so I had to adapt the idea to get it completed on time while using unfamiliar materials.
I propose a comic book made out of cardboard. My idea involves a cardboard box that has a comic book page on four of the sides (with one of the six sides presenting the word ‘Story’ and another showing the word ‘Box’. These sides introduce the title of the piece. Please see the attached diagram for details.).
The comic book pages themselves will feature characters and landscapes that are made out of cardboard and stuck on the sides of the box.
The idea of the box is that you can pick it up and spin it round to any of the six sides. The story itself can be read in any order, therefore each page is individual, but contributes to the story by revealing traits of the characters and the world they live in.
For this I am taking influence from the writers such as B.S.Johnson (who created novels where the chapters could be read in any order).
We are told the story of Jack, an 8 year old boy who cannot talk. Jack lives in a small village called Box. This village is populated individuals who are too busy to notice him. Jack attempts to do four things to get the attention of people and communicate. These four acts make up the Story Box story.
Act 1: Jack attempts to get the attention of his mother by creating loud noises around the house.
Act 2: Jack takes to drawing to entertain his friends.
Act 3: Jack listens to music loudly to express himself.
Act 4: Jack decides to write his thoughts and feelings in a diary.
The visual style will take influence for Indonesian shadow puppetry and the shadow puppet animated films of Lotte Reiniger. This style is bold and engaging and work well with the cardboard materials we will be working with.
For examples of the visual style please see the links below:
I believe that Story Box will work well in the Discardboard exhibition. The box will be engaging for viewers of the exhibition and Story Box will be a new and exciting way for people to experience a story. The Story Box could be exhibited to sit on the floor or on a table, allowing people to pick it up and interact. The dimensions of the box will be approximately: