Friday, May 16, 2008

Silent Lucidity

As I go through some of the Metasearch pages, I noticed quite a few instances in which I rely purely on story telling and not dialog to drive the story. I guess I can say there is a lot of silence in some of the pages, and that harkens back to the idea of letting the mood navigate rather than the words. When I see the works of some artists like Dave Gibbons, Frank Miller, Eddie Campbell, Stan Sakai, Juanjo Guarnido and Brian Hurtt, I always admire their ability to convey the story without the need for dialog. Of course there are more examples of good storytelling, but telling stories with pictures is tricky. Take “30 Days of Night” for example; I loved the story and Ben Templesmith’s art, but take the dialog out (and in some instances even with dialog) and you can’t tell what’s going on. I also love David Mack’s work; look at “Daredevil: Wake Up” without the words and all that is left is some very creative and beautiful art.

From script, to breakdown, to final art, it is easy to follow your own story since it is ingrained in your brain, but what about the reader? Readers will see your story for the first time with no other concept than the one you present. Is it clear to them? I always show my pages to other people before I letter them just to see if the sequence is clear. I also used to get defensive when some one couldn’t follow the story with just the pictures… not anymore. If someone can’t follow the plot then I didn’t do my work, and it’s back to the drawing board. Panels are remade or all together discarded, sequences changed, shots rethought, and sometimes pages rewritten. There is a lot of work that goes into a comic book, even in today’s computer age, which makes me admire the old school guys even more. I’ll see you in the page.

Oddman Out