Profile

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Nick
Kremer

About

Nick works full-time for Columbia Public Schools as the district Coordinator of Language Arts and Social Studies (6-12), after spending his earlier career teaching a 9th Grade English/Government linked course, Reading Enrichment, and Creative Writing in a Digital World, and coordinating Oakland Junior High School's Success Center, a program for at-risk 9th graders.
In his other life, Nick is a doctoral student in English Education at the University of Missouri-Columbia and an online instructor for MU Online, where he teaches Reading/Writing/Teaching Creative Nonfiction, Reading/Writing/Teaching the Graphic Novel, and Visual Literacy/Visual Culture. He is an executive board member and frequent facilitator for the Missouri Writing Project. He also serves as the current Dean of Education for the American Legion Missouri Boys State program.
In his other other life, Nick lives in Columbia with his wife, Ashley, his children Liam (3) and Ellison (1), and his Katrina refugee (dog), Tara. If he had free time anymore, he would enjoy music, basketball, film, and most things nerdy.

Writing Project Site

Missouri Writing Project

Organization

Columbia Public Schools, University of Missouri-Columbia

Location

Columbia
Missouri

Contributions

resource

Step 4: Paneling

            Once an author has identified the number and type of images he/she wants to include in a sequential art narrative, he/she must next consider how to lay those images out on the page.  Paneling – the process of determining the size, shape, and arrangement of images throughout the narrative – not only controls the sequence in which those images are read, but also influences a reader’s pacing, perception, and point of view.  The next video podcast highlights a wide variety of examples of paneling within professional graphic novels.

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on Jul 11, 2012
by Nick Kremer
resource

Step 1: Formulate a Narrative

            Some graphic novelists start from scratch and visually draft their narrative as they go, acting as both writer and illustrator; others create visual adaptations of existing prose work, “translating” the written word into visual-verbal form; still others work in collaboration from the onset, in a partnership where a writer creates a narrative script that an illustrator uses to craft the comic.  There is no one “right” way to begin the composition process.

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on Jul 11, 2012
by Nick Kremer
resource

Conclusion:

            Hopefully by taking part in this experiment with transmediation, you have come to a greater appreciation of the medium of comics and the craft of designing them.  If you are anything like my students, you also have come to learn some profound insights about the process of composition in general, and will carry over some of these lessons into all future forms of writing.  If you are interested in further exploring the wide world of sequential art narratives, I highly recommend reading Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics – an instructional manual written, ingeniously, in the graphic novel format.  And in the meantime, please give your students the gift of a diverse approach to literacy and composition in your classroom, one that will serve them well in the 21st century.  Excelsior! 

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on Jul 11, 2012
by Nick Kremer
resource

Step 6: Lettering

            Adding text to a sequential art narrative is as much a science as it is an art.  There are formal rules for visual design and layout of text features (for example, external dialogue must be placed in a “balloon” while internal dialogue occurs in a “cloud”, and the placement of text features is read left to right, top to bottom on the page, conveying a sense of passing time within a single static image).  However, aesthetics also come into play; the style and size of font, the use of bolding, italics, capitalization, etc. all contribute to the manner in which that text is read, helping to shape a reader’s perception of rhythm, tone, and auditory imagery.  The next podcast will briefly expose you to a few different approaches to lettering.

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on Jul 11, 2012
by Nick Kremer
resource

Step 3: Closure

            An essential literacy component within a sequential art narrative (the technical term for a comic) is closure – the often unconscious process a reader goes through of ‘closing the gap’ between panels (isolated images) of the story.  Though images themselves play a crucial part of the narrative, it is the “gutter” that exists between these panels where most of the reading takes place.  In the following video podcast, I illustrate how closure works in a comic and the degree to which it allows the author to control a reader’s perception of the narrative.

>
on Jul 11, 2012
by Nick Kremer

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