MazzicMember since: 2007
So most of my latest SWAG character submissions are for an "Invasion" era fan comic I'm working on. I thought I'd post a page from the comic, and try and get some feedback.
As I've never illustrated a comic before (though I've been reading them for most of my life), I'm finding it challenging to figure out exactly HOW to tell a story visually! Every panel can be told a different way...and it's kicking my butt to figure out which way is BEST!
I've actually been reading comics now more to STUDY the way they're told...and look at the panels without reading them, to see how artists tell a story without dialogue getting in the way. I like to think I'm learning, but again, your feedback is much appreciated!
So you have some context, here's the page's description from the script:
Int: Yuuzhan Vong detention cell. Not so much a room as...a hole. A filthy cavity in the floor of a larger room. At the bottom, wearing ragged spacer’s undergarments and looking like something chewed him up and shat him out (which is entirely possible), meditates Seyyerin Itoklo, Jedi Knight. We see mostly a silhouette at first until a hatch opens above him to illuminate the putrid detail of his situation with a greenish haze. Sey looks up, face impossibly passive given his condition.
VONG GUARD (offscreen)
I suppose so.
“Where to begin...”
Holy crap, man, that is breathtaking!! And far, far better than a lot of things I've seen actually PUBLISHED. I feel for Sey instantly.
The one thing I'm not 'getting' from the images alone (yet IS mentioned in the script) is the fact that the entry to the pit- the hatch, whatever- can open and close. As I was reading the script, in my minds eye I saw a huge transition from dank, claustrophobic darkness to the pit being lit from above- but, well, I couldn't tell you how vital that is to show visually, and someone without access to the script certainly wouldn't be missing out!
As you've said, every panel can be shown differently... and sometimes I highly doubt there is a 'best'. So long as the writer is satisfied, I don't think what you've got there could be faulted! I really, really, really hope to see more.
I guess it will always be problematic to have access to both the script and the visuals, since they'll never have a one-to-one correlation. But the important thing (which I think you nailed) is getting an effective visual order. There are an infinitude of ways it can be shown, but you've chosen one that works. And that's good!
Also, I LOVE the colors. Very beautiful.
Thanks to you both!
Yeah Asok, I thought it would be visually more interesting to kind of zoom INTO the Vong detention cell, and that maybe the door is just off screen. Once my friend who wrote the story sent it to me, he pretty much washed his hands of the project. It's now up to me to interpret it as best I can.
I wonder if it's best to at first just show the page illustrations...have you guys "guess" and critique it...then I'll fill you in on the script's descriptions?
In later pages, there are definite problems with some of the panels. Luckily, it's not too difficult to go in an edit/change/redraw them. Additionally, it's nice that this is just a personal project, so I have plenty of time to work on it when my schedule permits!
I'm also interested in seeing if you guys pick up on my cinema sensibilities. As someone in the film industry, I often approach the images like I would a storyboard for film. I've not studied comicbook form/technique before, but am familiar with cinema (ie when to pull/push in, how to maintain a specific character's POV, etc). I think that much is obvious with the "Last Stand" images I submitted to SWAG a while back. I guess the key difference is how to tell the big KEY moments, and when to be more subtle.
Are you guys interested in seeing the sketchy pencil sketches that lead up to the page?
.... I like the idea of seeing the illustrations without the script! Might be a really good way for you to get an outside opinion of whether or not the story you're telling (showing!) makes cohesive sense, or if there are holes that need to be filled.
And being a total fan of seeing the process of other artists' work, I would LOVE seeing the sketches that lead up to the pages.
I'm definitely getting the real 'cinematic' feel of what you do (and absolutely loving it, by the way) - I might show your pages to my housemate, who is a complete comic aficionado, and see what he has to say.
(And as a side note- I adore your 'Last Stand' series of images! They are easily among my absolute favourite of all the images here on SWAG, I constantly go back to them, and they never cease to encourage/inspire me to do some more drawing. I love your work!)
Thanks for your encouraging comments, Tusserk!
As requested, here's the pencil sketch for the first page. It goes through a lot of alterations from the initial coffee-shop drawing, but the idea is still there!
The two panels below are the replacements I created. I wasn't quite happy with the layout of the original page, and ended up switching out, and reflecting the middle row panels.
OMG - this is fricken coooool....
I've been following this development on your DeviantArt account. Tis awesome.
Wow, this is great work, no words and I get a sense of what the character is going through.
Hah! Sweet! Thanks for showing us the sketch there. I love seeing other folks' rough work. Definitely like the changes you made to the page for the final version- I love the shot over Sey's back and shoulders, it's got such feeling to it.