Existential Dick (p. 2)

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As you may be able to tell, I'm trying to stick with the 9-panel grid for this storyline. That may not seem like such a big deal, but it's a constraint that is somewhat difficult to manuever. A lot of older comics follow the 9-panel plan, and it makes for a simpler set up, but trying to stick to the format is tricky. The nice thing about it is that it forces you to make certain decisions; for me in particular, I have to figure out how much I can really fit into a panel and not make it too cluttered. As I've mentioned, I find it difficult to draw things small. Add on the narration, and the the space gets even smaller.

The other thing that I'm playing with in this story is the images. I'm going less for a moment-to-moment panel transition and more for an image-to-image transition, with each image chosen (hopefully) to produce an emotional or aesthetic response. It's more of a thought piece than an action piece--so I'll linger on these kinds of scenes, whereas others will move more quickly in time.

Admittedly, when I imagined this page, I was was motivated by a desire to draw specific "parts"; that is, I thought it would be funnier to introduce the second character in a series of images, without actually showing the reader the whole character. But hopefully by doing it this way, you also get a lot more. For example, Shade is focusing on particular aspects of the woman--so we get a sense of where his head is. Jo thinks that it is clear what is on Shade's mind, and that the narration is almost irrelevant. I can see her point, but I think that the narration adds a little more than clutter. For example, if Shade sees her lips as the "color of a bloodied fist" hopefully that lets you in a little on his character.

This page came out better than I expected it to, but I'm still trying to find a nicer balance in the shading. I'd like to be able to get the piece down to 3 tones: black, white, and a medium. I think that I'm getting closer to where I want to be, but the whole thing is still a bit cluttered.