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Calvin and Hobbes

I have selected Calvin and Hobbes as my "book" for this project. I simply love Calvin and Hobbes and it made sense to design a drop cap for it. The comic really captures the sense of childhood imagination and wonder, but also juxtaposes it with deeper discussions about morality, philosophy and modern society. Considered to be the last great newspaper comic, it's still relevant to this day, despite ending almost two decades ago.

Because of the comic format, I understood there would be challenges when designing the drop cap. Since it's already a visual medium (as opposed to a traditional novel or memoir), there are tons of inspirational elements on each page. It's very easy to fall into the fanart trap. I have to consider the unique title typeface that exists and not design something that's too similar. I also have to remember the context and nature of the comic, and have my design be true to the source material. For example, a formal drop cap may be the expected result of this class, but it does not necessarily mean it's appropriate for my book. 

The goal of the project is to design a drop cap for the Complete Calvin and Hobbes collection box set. 

I started by reading the first year of the strip, as well as researching online for people's opinions and what they considered to be noteworthy or memorable about the comic. 

Here are some of my thoughts: 

I decided to go with both a C and a H because the two main characters are so complementary, it wouldn't be the same with just one letter. As such, I have to ensure the drop caps work separately as standalone letters, but also come together organically and cohesively - that's when the magic happens!

Using a few iconic comics as a starting point, I sketched out a few ideas:

The top sketch represents the final comic and line, "...Let's go exploring!" with a toboggan that travels along the curved shape of the C, across the ampersand, and continues to travel along the H. In the middle and bottom sketches, I wanted to explore the appearance of stripes on Calvin and Hobbes (thin stripes on Calvin's shirt, thick stripes for Hobbes' fur) and how they complement one another. The middle sketch is more subtle in execution, but currently both versions are unresolved. 

More sketches exploring Calvin's hair, the stripes again, and the memorable adventures with cardboard boxes:

At this point, I would like to experiment more with the stripes and how they can incorporate key visual elements from the comics (wagon, treehouse, snowmen, imaginary travels, etc.) into the design. 

Any feedback would be much appreciated! 

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