Chris Sheridan

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My name is Christopher Sheridan but since thats a mouthfull you can just call me Chris. I’m a 22 year old designer with a keen interest in everything Illustration as well as Branding, UI and Graphic design. Over the past 4 years at the Belfast School of Art I have honed my craft as an illustrator whilst learning a lot of new skills along the way.

Ever since I was 6 years old I’ve been completely obsessed with Comic books, its even the reason I have such an interest in illustration and design. Every Saturday morning my Dad used to take me down to the newsagents at the end of our road and would buy me a comic of my choice and ever since I’ve been hooked.

For my final year project I created ‘Comics Condensed’, which is a website that will hopefully make others fall in love with comics as much as I have.

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Comics Condensed

Comic books used to be tailored to nerds and geeks and were predominantly bought by male teens. But due to the ever growing popular genre in modern cinema of the superhero movie, comic books are now for everyone and are bigger than ever. This new found love of the superhero leave many looking for more of their favourite characters such as Spiderman, Iron-man, Captain America and other on screen counterparts. But the problem is where to begin? Comics Condensed takes Marvel Comic’s rich history and puts it into a manageable format that can tell a user details about characters and major events that have taken place over the last 80 years and provide jumping off points for new readers as well as filling in the gaps for existing ones, specifically focusing on the origins of our favourite characters then expanding onwards.

The website provides information such as the origin story of a character and stats regarding their powers etc., as well as providing jumping on points/ important reading material to help you understand the character better before you invest your time and money into hours worth of reading. The site also shows a timeline of events from the beginning of the marvel universe to present day (material is still being added due to the enormity of the task).

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The Process

Comics Condensed has changed drastically over the course of the past year. Originally the site was going to be focusing singularly on the timeline but it wasn’t enough sustenance for new readers to find out about the comics so I added the character pages. My main concern was that wikis already exist that provide information about Marvel Comics so what I wanted to do differently was have the unique header section that detailed the characters origin story in a creative and unique way that would keep users coming back to my site.

I began my project by researching who would need this site, but ended up discovering Comic book piracy is an ever-growing concern that leaves the many talented people who work on the comics loose out on their hard earned money. Dave Gallaher co-author of comic series The Only Living Girl and co-founder of comic studio Bottled Lightning estimates on his podcast ‘For the love of comics’ estimated that there are 30 million views of pirated comic books per month, this is largely done through illegal streaming sites where scans of the comics are uploaded to.

Following my research on users I compiled some user personas before moving on to wireframes for the site. following this I did a vast amount of research through the Marvel movies, tv shows and the comic books themselves to provide information of the characters i had chosen as well as provide inspiration for my sketches. When i was happy with what i had i moved on to high fidelity versions and then built the site using HTML and CSS.

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The Solution

Comics Condensed was a chance to show off my skills that I have learnt over the last few years and I believe I successfully did this. I love each of my Illustrations wether it be for the timeline section or the individual character profile pages. I hope that it will successfully introduce new readers to the Comic books I adore so much and help, with the ongoing piracy crisis even if only slightly.

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