Monday, April 28, 2008

The Sounds of Silence

Sitting in on a writer’s lecture at a comic book convention some time ago, the lecturer, an established comic book writer, was talking about the intricacies of writing for a visual medium. He elaborated that aspiring comic book writers usually wrote phrases like “there is a message in the answering machine…” and he argued that it is nonsensical in sequential art because there is no sound. After the lecture I was going through my head about what the writer had said, and I found that I disagreed with his take about sound. In fact, I took that on as a challenge.

As you might have noticed by now, there are no sound effects in Metasearch. That was a personal as well as a stylistic choice. As a writer, I never felt comfortable with sound effects in comic books. I found them cheesy and unnecessary. That doesn’t mean that I feel sound effects should be excluded. I believe there is room for everything in this world, but I never felt comfortable doing them in my books. I'd rather challenge myself in finding creative ways to deal with the lack of sound in graphic novels. If I do lament the lack of sound in the medium, it is the lack of a soundtrack. Then again, in the age of web comics that might soon change. You never know.

All in all, what someone sees as a limitation, another one can see it as another form of expression, or a style. More often than not people like to take the proven path, if it’s not broken why fix it, right? But I found out that by taking the path less traveled, you always gain something in the process. If worse comes to worse, you can always go back to the proven path, only this time you’ll have a greater understanding of what you are doing. I’ll see you in the page.

Oddman Out