Sunday, July 26, 2009

It's a Graphic Novel!


Computer collage

©2004 Charlene Brown

Collage is a technique invented by Picasso. He stuck fragments of newspaper and other pre-printed patterns onto his compositions, creating irrational conjunctions and incongruities of scale—as if his work didn’t already have plenty of both.

When I combined and overlaid the pictures and graphics for ‘1904’ at the time of the 100th anniversary of my grandparents’ marriage and arrival in Banff, I referred to the result as a computer collage. However, the images were recognizable and text fragments readable, rather than just part of a design. So, it is really more of a montage, made by juxtaposing or superimposing pictures or designs.

Once, when I showed it to a group of people, one said it was just like scrapbooking! She was a scrapbooking enthusiast, so I decided to take it as a compliment, but was relieved when someone else pointed out that, because it includes background, context and dialogue, it’s a graphic novel!

Photoshop simplifies the process of creating collages/montages/graphic novels (how about graphic short stories?) like this, because it is non-destructive. Original documents, including irreplaceable photos firmly stuck in family albums, as well as pages from treasured journals, letters, and fragile old newspapers, are scanned into the computer, and the resulting print-outs can be cut up, re-sized if necessary, and moved around at will.

I think I’ll write a graphic novel (more than one page long!) that will include paintings on this blog. Stand by for Chapter 1.