Julia E. Marshall BFA Illustration Thesis FAll 2020
Born Too Late
Julia E. Marshall’s sequential songbook, Born Too Late, is a 24-page single-issue comic that combines elements of sheet music with comic pages. The comic focuses on a band called Born Too Late, and showcases them performing three songs: “Sunshine In My Mind”, “Butterflies”, and “I’ve Got No Reason”. Julia wrote these three songs for vocals and acoustic guitar in her mid-20’s. Their lyrics focus on her insecurities at the time, her thoughts about romantic relationships, and her feelings of isolation in a busy world. This sequential songbook consists of three parts: character introductions, song-based illustrations, and fictional gig posters. Each character introduces themselves before each song, and explains why they feel whether or not they were “born too late”. These reasons range from missing the chance to see certain bands perform live, to having a crush on someone unattainable at the time. The first two songs in the sequential songbook are two-page spread illustrations, with the staff lines and lyrics in the background. The last song is a five-page comic that weaves musical notation and lyrics into the panels. The panels and the written music work together and compliment each other, creating a print form of an animated music video. There are four fictional gig flyers featured in the songbook. These flyers are inspired by psychedelic rock flyers from the 1960s, as well as flyers for backyard punk shows. The theme of the first two flyers is “Matcha Madness”, and the theme for the last two flyers is “Busking”. This is to showcase Born Too Late’s local gigs performing at coffee shops, as well as busking. This was also an opportunity to experiment with poster design and typography. At the end of this book, there is a page that explains basic music theory terms. However, this book is not meant to be seen as an educational tool. It is a three-song EP in comic form, with illustrations as songs. It also introduces audiences to a fictional band that will be featured in future comics and illustrations. This book is for music enthusiasts and comic fans, as well as anyone who is passionate about narrative.