COMIC BOOKS ARE A POWERFUL, GRAPHIC TOOL FOR TEACHING.
However, comic books are severely under utilized in training materials. NGO workers and government officials may think of them as something for children. But, they are for children and adults, alike. This is evident in the proliferation of graphic novels targeted towards adults.
We in the development field must catch up with the rest of the world and begin to create comic books to simply explain HOW-TO do something. Most development agencies spend a lot of time creating DENSE TRAINING MANUALS and BURDENSOME GUIDELINES, which even workers in the development field do not properly read.
For example, take a look at the comic book we designed for introducing Local Monitors to their task. The Comic Book is called What do Local Monitors do? The text was written in the local language Dari, and the photographs were taken in Jalalabad, Nangarhar during a Local Monitor’s visit. These photographs were later manipulated in Photoshop to get the ‘comic book effect.’ You can see the first page below. And you can also download it here in Dari or English:
The next comic book we designed was called Monitoring Challenges. This comic book illustrated some of the challenges monitors face when monitoring road projects, in terms of quality issues and dealing with local contracting companies. All the photographs were taken in Badakshan and later manipulated in Photoshop to create the ‘comic book effect.’ You can see the first page below. You can also download it here in Dari or English:
If our target audience is the community, we must simplify our material and make it eye-catching. Visual data is always easier to absorb, compared to pages and pages of text. Moreover, it is very easy to make comic books using Photoshop. You can also draw the comics by hand, but this is how we made them quickly in Photoshop:
QUICK PHOTOSHOP TUTORIAL: COMIC BOOK IN 10 EASY STEPS
1 Create a new page in Photoshop
2 Divide the page into several boxes using guides and the grid.
3 Place a photograph in one of the boxes. Crop and edit it to fit in the space.
4 Adjust the contrast of the photograph. Higher contrast is better for making a comic book.
5 Apply the POSTER EDGES FILTER to the photograph. Adjust the settings to make the photo look more or less abstract depending on your artistic preference.
6 Repeat steps 3-5 for all other photographs.
7 Once you have all the photographs placed, create a white rectangle. This will be your text box.
8 You can keep the transparency of the text box 100% or make it a bit transparent to about 80%.
9 Write what you want in the text boxes.
10 Repeat steps 1-10 for all other pages.
CONGRATULATIONS, YOU HAVE JUST CREATED YOUR OWN COMIC BOOK!