Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Illustration and Visual Narrative

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION A unit that continues to deliver content from "Introduction to Visual Narrative" at a more advanced level, elaborating on the elements that form Illustration, and delving more deeply into different style formats of traditional, hand-drawn illustration, as well as found-image, text-as-image, and collage productions; along with materials, and goes into detail about digital and digitally enhanced illustration, exploring the role played by Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator in this. Part of the unit will be dedicated to the use of illustration in cartoons (both printed and animated), comic strips, comic books and graphic novels, through an exposition of a wide variety of texts, investigating some of the multiple styles possible in these genres. The unit also looks at comics as communicators through exploring the language of the medium and the possible permutations of messages afforded by the various styles, schools, techniques and intentions.

Study-unit Aims

The study-unit seeks to assist the students in:
– becoming more cognizant of the importance and use of illustration in different contexts;
– understanding better the use of image generation and manipulation programs in the enhancing and/or creation of illustration;
– being aware of the variety of styles of illustration used in different sub-genres of visual narrative;
– becoming familiar with the techniques of visual narrative, particularly in comics and graphic novels;
– having a hands-on experience in using illustration as a means of visual narrative and storytelling.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will:
– Have an advanced understanding of hand-drawn and/or crafted and digitally generated illustration;
– Gain an understanding of comics narrative construction and storytelling;
– Have a solid grounding in visual narrative stylistic diversification.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will:
– Have a clear knowledge of how to fit an illustrative style to a context;
– Be able to practically generate a graphic narrative;
– Effectively apply traditional and digital illustration techniques to textual and visual narrative productions.

Reading List

Duncan, R., and Smith, M. J. (2009). The Power of Comics: History, Form and Culture. New York, NY: Continuum.
Eisner, W. (1990). Comics and Sequential Art (expanded edition). Florida: Poorhouse Press.
Harvey, R. C. (1996). The Art of the Comic Book: An Aesthetic History. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi.
Heller, S., and Chwast, S. (2008). Illustration: A Visual History. New York, NY: Abrams.
Male, Alan (2007). Illustration: A Theoretical and Contextual Perspective. New York, NY: Watson-Guptill Publications.
McCloud, S. (1994). Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. New York: Harper.
Zeegan, L. (2012). The Fundamentals of Illustration (2nd ed.). Lausanne, SW: AVA.

Other books and journal articles related to the topic will be suggested throughout the duration of the unit.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Taught with hands-on application

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Classwork SEM2 No 20%
Project SEM2 Yes 30%
Assignment SEM2 Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Gorg Mallia

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2020/1. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.