The original storyboard of Ice was created in the last half of my winter 2015 drawing class.
It follows the parallel stories of an archeologist who is working to piece an artefact (the knife) together and the creator of the knife. At this point I was working with the concept of memory loss due to PTSD, and building up a comparison between the fear in the two women's lives. For this draft I was primarily concerned about the technical elements of line, shape and frame progression. These make up the backbone of a visual story. For my next go at it I think I will work in the tonal elements as well, as this will change the look of the previous three. Adding the colour later will not be nearly as detrimental.
Inspired by the dialogue-less Pixar shorts, I wanted to make a comic without words. I really wanted to stretch myself and tell the story entirely with images. This wasn't without success, but the page limit I worked with condensed the story a bit too much. Even so, this really gave me a good feel for the strengths and weaknesses of the story as a whole. I still plan on using elements of silence in my next version, and this first draft showed me the real strength of it. I see it as a way of using empty space. Sometimes the lack of something can make the presence of it later, or in small amounts, that much more powerful. I really enjoyed having dialogue only at the end of this first version when she reaches out to the people close to her.
There are going to be some significant changes in the next version, the biggest one being the inclusion of text and a slightly altered focus (from fear being the number one theme, to finding the strength to face it being the key theme), but I'm proud of this first run through.
I had someone ask me recently (on DA) to give the general synopsis of Ice. Having not nailed down the final details, I was a little hesitant but I ended up anwsering some of my own questions in the process of answering theirs. So I thought I would share:
"It's a story that follows two characters, women living 20,000+ years apart, and how they cope/deal with fear and danger in their respective cultures. I've settled on the prehistoric storyline but the modern one isn't quite sitting well enough in my head to start working on it. But it's nearly there. It's really going to focus on what sorts of day to day or cultural dangers we face when we (using 'we' from the perspective of my own western middle class up bringing) no longer have to worry about food and shelter on a daily basis. What fears are real, and what are validated only in our own minds. What are we capable of doing when we encounter physical dangers (pereicved or imagined) and is the seperatation between basic surival skills (including violence) and our contemporary way of life reconcilable."
The purpose of the icewoman is to act as a contrast as well as a mirror for the contemporary women, but the biggest questions I'm struggling with right now is: What am I trying to say?
It's not enough to have an interesting comparison. The act of making the comparison means that readers are given the oppertunity to read deeper than a simple narative. To make the best story possible, I need to have a clear idea in my mind what that deeper reading(s) could be, understanding that there is always another unexpected way of looking at a story given an individual's own knowledge and experiences. When it comes down to it, I wonder if what I'm really trying to voice are some of my own fears? I'll have to wait and see what this archeologist digs up for me.
Keep your eyes peeled! I will be posting the original story board here soon.
Thanks for reading!
A few years ago I wrote a short story called "A Knife of Insignificance" for a creative writing class. Paleoanthropology, or the study of early humans, has always been of great interest to me, and I enjoyed exploring the topic in a creative form.
For the Calgary Comic and Entertainment Expo Charity Artbook, I decided to (digitally) paint a scene inspired by the story. While working on the image, I found I wanted to take the idea further and thus Ice was born.
During this last semester I have worked on expanding the story to give it more impact and emotional depth. I have also done a preliminary 40 page storyboard that I will be posting parts of in the coming weeks (When the Comic and Fan Expos are done!). I plan on completing the final story board this summer and getting an early start on the comic itself in order to have it ready for the 2016 BFA Graduating Exhibition.
For anyone going to the Calgary Expo, I will be selling some limited edition concept prints. So stop by early if you are interested!
More on the story itself to come!
Christine is a non-binary, Canadian illustrator and comic artist. They graduated with a BA (English) and a BFA (Visual Arts) from the University of Regina.