Story Beats – The Flood

A story in 8 beats.

The Flood.


From the beginning, I thought of using a bible story and giving it a little twist. This is because there are many bible stories are pretty well known (eg. David and Goliath, Daniel in the Lion’s Den, Jonah and the Whale, Adam and Eve, etc.) and I wanted to choose one and tweak some parts of the story to make it a little more straightforward and humorous. The element of familiarity, mixed with a different adaptation will make the comic more attractive for others to want to read it.

I chose the story of Noah and the Ark, as it is well known to be one that promotes perseverance and determination to attain your set goals. I tweaked the story such that it doesn’t end on a high note, and make Noah seem a little more human, so the reader is able to relate to his carelessness.

rough story outline, before and after breaking it down into 8 beats

Initially, I was a little confused at the project requirements and order, thus I was drawing out the frames that were meant to be in the comic.

I’m not the best at drawing, so it took me some time over the Chinese New Year holiday to create draft after draft and draw out the beats :,)
It was at this point when Alena clarified things with me *BLESS U ALENA*

For the final 8-beat piece, I tried experimenting with different framing angles to make the story more vibrant as a whole. I also made use of the technique of drawing darker lines for subjects in the foreground, and lighter lines for those in the background (thanks Don!). I also used a lot of visual cues to accentuate what each frame is trying to depict.

For example, I drew out the laughter in a bold font, to make the teasing by the villagers more impactful. In the 4th frame, I drew a sweat drop on the side of Noah’s head to show his fatigue and accentuate the hard work that he has put in to building the boat. Also, I drew a frame around the boat, to show how accomplished he felt after the completion of the boat.

The use of punctuations also helps to tell the emotion of Noah at that current state. In the 6th frame, the punctuations ?!?! was used to show his confusion and shock to wake up to see nothing but the horizon. In the final frame, the punctuations !!! was used to show a different kind of shock – more anger and frustration in that emotion as compared to the 6th frame.

All in all, this 8-beat assignment taught me how to tell a story with as little words as possible (in frame, that is), and make full use of angles, framing size, subjects in frame, and other additional elements in order to fully depict the story to my readers, including all the different emotions that I want to convey from each frame.