I'm doing a piece to be part of an collective comic book project. We've got a cool group of people, some from work and some from outside of work. I'm really impressed when given the chance the talent people surprise you with. There are a few people really stepping out of their discipline, and it's been awesome to witness the artistic bravery. With a total biased opinion I will say I think it's going to be a good book, with different approaches of storytelling to champion. I really enjoy watching everyone exercise their preferences. I think art is a medium of preference, and the more particular you are the better your work will be. Personally, it's been a grand time trying to apply the things I'm learning from storyboarding to comics.
My story is a brief 12 pages, and I tried to spend a chunk of time up front figuring out the panels/shots I wanted to use for each moment. I have three versions of the first three spreads here, and hopefully I can show some of the changes I've been thinking through.
for the sake of context,
my story is about a heroine who runs away from bad guys with a star that has fallen from the sky.
I'm skipping around in the versioning with these, but some of the changes on the inbetweens were in different pages or were very small. Currently I am working on the final art on a "version: 010", and as I'm finishing I have...
some thoughts on going through the versions.
The process allowed me to go back and forth with what pieces of information I gave out and when. Comics have the fun advantage of time and space being the same thing (stolen from Scott Mcloud....i think), and I was finding that when I wanted a moment to "play longer" I could add panels or break down the action to really feel like it was breathing OR even make the whole page one panel. BOOM! When I started to do that I was finding I could give the moments more breathing room, and let the emotional parts be emotional instead of shallow.
I try to make rules for myself, and then start to follow them as I pick my moments. Lots of time they are things like "all the text will be unspoken as her mother reads it from the note she left" or "the bad guys don't run they only hop". It's easier for me to make rules of things NOT to do than things to do. haha. In boarding sometimes we (moonbots) would choose to use a very finite spectrum of camera angles until pivotal moments in the story. Then opening up the other angles for our special shots. That's not something I've actually tried until here, but when I had seen it done at work it was super cool!
I had trouble figuring out what to show and what not to show. There is an old NC Wyeth philosophy for illustrating novels, about picking the right moments to paint from the story and not picking the ones you want to let the reader imagine for themselves. I think originally I left too much out, and it made the story muddy. I had a lot of peers asking me questions like "why is she running away?".."who is she running from?" etc, and I had to do some more explaining. I was going for a sense of mystery, but not confusion. I'm still learning how to draw that line, but anyway....something cool to think about for the future.
I'm an anxious comic reader myself, and I find that I never always follow the rules on reading the panels in order. I've had to rely a lot on the people around me, and it always makes my work better.
thanks for dropping by! I'll post more later, and fill you in on how you can find the book