January 30, 2009

Thumbnails are useful, but they take the wind out of my sails. Once I see the page on paper, in any form, it’s finished in my eyes; but they can save a lot of time in the final art stage. Below is the thumbnail that goes with the script I posted a few days ago. This was my solution… is it the best, or only one? No, but it’s mine. Depicting action in comics can be problematic. Some writers break it down too much, and others cram too many things into one panel. Doug kept things smooth usually, but one panel on this page caused me fits. In panel four, Mack disarms one thug of his pistol, while hitting another one at the same time. The wife and I study Krav Maga, so gun defenses are something we’ve seen, but it requires a lot of effort to pull off. Granted Mack is a combat fighter, and able to do this, but drawing it in a panel is another thing. I decided to show the pinnacle moment for both actions, where Mack strikes one attacker, and has made the defensive move to secure the gun. Ideally, I might have added a panel or two, but there is a fine line between showing action and slowing down a page. You don’t want to slow the pace with multiple panels, as each person reads a page at their own rhythm. Unlike quick cuts in a movie, you can’t control how long the audience spends on each shot. There are tricks to shorten their time on a page, like deleting back ground details to focus only on the figures, but more panels still equal more time. 

The other problem was how to show that this was a story told by a mob guy who’s head is seen, but who was not physically part of the action. I tried to have my separation come from the different perspective angles on my subjects. When I showed Mack in an overhead shot, I drew the mob guy from a low angle. When Mack was in long shot, I placed the Mobster in a close-up. Does it work? I hope so. 

Come back in a few days to see the finished art for this page. We’ll see how things changed from thumbnail to final, and the different problems I had in executing the final art. 


One Response to “Thumbnails”

  1. richard said

    Now were gettin’ down to the nitty gritty.
    Nuts n’ bolts.
    Good stuff, Shannon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: