In Will Eisner’s wonderful book Graphic
Storytelling and Visual Narrative, Graphic Narrative is defined as “…a generic
description of any narrative that employs image to transmit and idea. Film and
comics both engage in graphic narrative.” Other forms of digital storytelling
meet this definition, too, such as this example below which is a beautifully written and
powerfully delivered poem by Canadian poet and writer Shane Koyczan. Koyczan teamed up with a host of volunteer animators to produce a seven-minute visual
narrative called To This Day. It's a fantastic project. It's a great piece as an audio track, but
with the help of animators it became something even more powerful. It has been up for a short time but the evocative, provocative video has received millions of views already. Watch it on YouYube.
Can the audience relate?
This graphic narrative is something virtually everyone can relate to at some level. Even if one were fortunate enough to have never been bullied in any way at school, surely no one has escape childhood without witnessing the cruel hand of bullying in the classroom and elsewhere or verbal abuse at home. This video resonates with so many because virtually everyone can share what the storyteller had the courage to share here. Koyczan's message is an important one to hear and to share.
“An Audience is always interested in experiences of someone with whom they can relate. There is something very private that occurs within the reader [or listener/viewer] while he ‘shares’ the actor’s experience. The operative word is ‘share,’ because the inner feelings of the protagonist are understandable to the reader who would have similar emotions under the same circumstances.”
— Will Eisner in Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative
• To This Day on Vimeo