30.Aug.2009 Photo booth narratives

As a fan—and fledgling contributor—to the sequential storytelling medium of comics, the potential that lies within the four-picture photo booth is definitely intriguing.

A few weeks ago, I was in Wisconsin for the wedding of one of my best buddies. At this wedding, as I hear it’s quite hip to do, there was a photo booth for guests to enter and capture some silly pictures throughout the night. After snapping quite a few goofy sequences with my lovely girlfriend, my sister and my parents, it hit me—in my high spirits aided by spirits—that with a sharpie and some paper I could add a pretty unique set of photos to the night’s photo booth collection (all of which are given to the bride and groom after the festivities on a disc).

After searching vainly throughout the reception for sharpie and paper, I came up with a simple story I could tell with only myself and one of my favorite items: a cup of coffee.

Umm umm good!

Umm umm good!

Obviously four panels and no dialogue doesn’t allow for a ton of expression, but it is a pretty interesting venue for short stories. An average comic strip is only about four panels, and so, it seems a strip of photo booth pictures makes for a rigid but compelling story form. I’m sure I am not the first person to stumble upon this idea, but man, I think it’s a darn good one. It’d be a great way to introduce chapters of a story about young love and it’s progression through time as evidenced by the body language of the photographees, or to simply show the aging of any main character.

I like it. I think I’ll use it again some time.

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There are 5 Comments to "Photo booth narratives"

  • Bill says:

    I know I’m not one to talk, but you are a goofy bastard jimbo– kudos on the girlfriend dude! She is definately cuter than anyone I brought back to the J.C. cabin LOL… and hopefully SANER… Looks like you had fun, perhaps you could make a flip-book next?

  • Jim Gibbons says:

    Photo booth flipbook, eh?! I LOVE that idea!

  • Kevin Timony says:

    Jim… Your coffee picture was my favorite of the night! Keep up the good work.

  • Jim Gibbons says:

    Half of the happy couple loved the coffee narrative?! Success!

  • Jessi says:

    Yeah, the only way that coffee narrative could have been better (*maybe*) would have required a suit sacrifice. Add a fifth frame that looks exactly like the first frame, but for the coffee dribble down the front of the white shirt….Oh, kooky Wendy would not have loved that.