Drawing Board: What Do You Think of Spider-Man? Part 1

This one had been in my head for awhile (1-2 years?), and the dialogue kept changing slightly. I realized that I needed to write it down before I completely forgot it.

Comics that consist entirely of talking heads are always a bit of a challenge, because you want the images to stay visually interesting even though not much action is taking place. Speaking scenes require you to spend more time on smaller details like expressions, hand gestures, and other pieces of body language.

In thinking about how to lay out the comic, I put some thought into how these characters might move, and how their small actions might communicate something about their personality.

Jan/Wasp is a sophisticated high-society lady so she should sit up straight in her chair and drink wine.  Carol/Ms. Marvel is more of a tomboy, so she's more relaxed in her chair and drinks beer.

You have to resist the urge to change things up too much. For example, it's important to keep the heads on a consistent side (Jan on the left, Carol on the right) throughout. Otherwise, you can easily confuse the reader as to who is speaking. This phenomenon is easier to see is a movie. Some directors spin the camera around two people talking in order to add drama. It typically only adds frustration to the viewer.

I originally had the final tier look like this:

But I decided that, even though the 2nd and third panels are separate, there was at least the hint that the two women were facing one another. I really wanted to avoid that, so I flipped the panels. It created the problem that now Carol's right arm was slung over her chair (it had been her left arm in earlier panels), but I rationalized it by saying that she would probably have shifted uncomfortably during the previous panel (when she makes Wasp mad).


Both of these characters have been through multiple costumes throughout their career. I specifically chose to put them in their most ridiculous one to make the final joke a bit skewed. Jan is a fashion designer, but you can tell that most of her costumes were designed by men who didn't understand fashion.

Jan's "wasp" look is just silly; and completely at odds with someone who is supposed to be a sophisticated fashion designer.

But Carol's costume crosses into the absurd. This is a character who is supposed to be a strong feminist. And nothing makes men take you seriously like an outfit that exposes your midriff and long legs.  She must get chilly running around in such a skimpy outfit, because the designers also gave her a scarf! And in a fight, a scarf also makes a great weapon FOR YOUR OPPONENT!

Obviously, the writers were trying to say that Carol could be both strong and sexy, but they put a little more emphasis on the Farah Fawcett than on the Gloria Steinem.

I decided to pay homage to that image in panel 8.