I can’t draw.

Well, I can “draw” but I can’t draw in an artistic sense.

I know Carrie Baughcum would would tell me that anyone can draw! Granted, during game night I put up a good fight in Pictionary but that is usually because I have  solid grasp of stick-figure emoticons. When I try anything more advanced than a smiley face though the viewer usually cannot decipher my various loops and swirls into any meaningful pattern. As I begin planning for next year this leaves me with a bit of a conundrum. I am shifting my gamified narrative away from my “History Underground” story which was based on a dystopian future run by a dictatorial government hunting down rogue Historians that were reteaching the public. Next year I will feature a storyline based around Super Heroes and Villains. This does seem a bit lighter and that may be true but the students were not as hooked into the storyline as I was. The actual story will also not be too fluffy. The recent Avengers: Infinity Wars movie showed that comics don’t just mean light and goofy. I’ll be writing more about the storyline later. Comic stories are characterized by the larger than life figures, the often over-the-top storylines, and the look and feel of the art. This is problematic because…

I can’t draw.

So, what to do? In the History Underground I recorded audio that would play over the top of still images. This audio would be embedded into the recorded materials that I wanted students to watch for a given class. It worked well but comics are a visual medium not really an audio one. Think of The Hulk – I guarantee you thought of a big green guy in purple pants not the voice acting. PS, here is one of my favorite history jokes.

download (2)

So how does someone that can draw really nice stick figures give a feel like this:


I may have found a way to do this without drawing at all – by mashing up Google Drawing, Green Screens, and LunaPic.com filters and effects!

The first step will be take pictures of my “Characters” in front of a green screen. For example here is a picture of a reporter that I found on creativecommons.com.


After uploading the picture onto LunaPic.com I can use the “EDIT – Transparent Background” feature to remove all of the “Green” which essentially creates a sticker.

Create Transparency.PNGreporter transparency

Once I have created the Character with the transparent background I can add it to a background using Google Draw.

Now here is the FUN PART!

After downloading the Google Draw image I can load that image to back into LunaPic. This website has some awesome effects and filters. One is the “Speech Bubble Effect”.

reporter with speech text.PNG

Here are some of the other effects and filters

But the direction that I believe I am taking this is to use the filters to create comic looking cells that I can use to further storylines, introduce units, and develop side quests. Something like this.


Or this (with text)


So there you go. This might be away that will allow a person with little to no drawing skills to create comic like presentations.

Now… Onto the Storyboards…