Telling a Story Through a Graphic Novel: A ColLAB Story

Last spring during her Independent Art ColLAB, Sydney C. ‘21, focused on producing her first animated short film. She learned a lot during the process. For the first ColLAB of her sophomore year, Sydney went back to her roots so to speak and turned her attention back to conceptualizing her own graphic novel/comic book.  The Winchendon School’s immersive learning experience, ColLAB allowed Sydney the opportunity to take another step toward her dream of writing and illustrating, first a comic book and then a full-length graphic novel.

ColLABs at The Winchendon School allow students the opportunity to discover subjects they may not have a chance to explore during the academic year. Focusing on a narrow topic, students prepare for the two week ColLAb period over the course of the semester. They share their experiences and tell their story through digital media.

For the January ColLAB, Sydney began back in September, meeting with her advisor every-two weeks to plan out her immersive, Her goal was set: a 50-page comic book with original cartoons and a plot she developed herself. In order to meet the goal, she needed to plan out how to spend her time leading up to and then during the actual two-week ColLAB itself. From September through the beginning of January, she wrote the content and storyline of the novel. She also created a two-week agenda detailing which artwork cartoons would be drawn on each day. With feedback from art teachers Ms. Tresca and Mrs. Draugsvold, Sydney knew she needed to practice and build skills around realistic techniques for her cartoons, such as anatomy, color theory, and realism. Mrs. Draugsvold and Ms.Tresca served as Sydney’s faculty advisors during this ColLAB period.  Additionally, Head of School Mrs. Lambert supervised the independent art ColLAB and guided Sydney to keep her on track to meet her deadline.

In the gallery below, you can see the progression of characters and how Sydney used her time. From the first doodle she created showing the main character, Lars reaching out to Spring to a completed page, Sydney’s work progressed as she refined technique and storytelling.

We love where Sydney’s creativity took her during this ColLAB and we’re excited to share her work with you. Click on an image to see it full sized.