Black Snow is a funny thing. It takes you to unexpected places. I really think this is pretty different from your standard super hero story. In many ways. Some of which you’ve seen and some that are still to come.
This scene, and particularly this page, is fairly odd to me. The bright sanitary office setting and the friendly banter between two platonic adult coworker friends, not stuff I draw a lot of. But I like the fact that in this comic you can have a quiet subtle scene between two side characters like this.
Though fans of the old comic will notice we’ve kept the plot a lot tighter this time around and when characters do talk it’s actually focused on the story’s events, and not random odd things like what the Firsherman’s mama was named or planning to have pizza while watching Mystery Men. Don’t get me wrong, there’s still some odd non sequiturs, they are just better planned out and generally less…stupid. And there’s a noticeably stronger focus on the title character.
Black Snow has never been about action. This was true of the original comic books and if you haven’t caught on is true of this graphic novel. Marie playfully hitting Kurt here is the most action we’ve seen thus far besides the bank explosion.
So what is a super hero story without fighting? The way Alex has always describe it is that it’s just a story about people, who happen to be super heroes. They are not defined by that fact, it’s just part of their lives.
Some readers have told me the story is basically like if the real world had super heroes. I like that. I think it’s a bit of a stretch, but a nice thought. Just because you’re a “super hero” it doesn’t mean you actually know what you’re doing, anymore that a regular Joe. It probably means you know even less. Think about how difficult it would be logistically to be a super hero? Where the hell would you even begin?
Fight seekers don’t fret, we will eventually get to some of your much beloved violence, just maybe not in the way you would expect. Fans of the original comic books will recall we had some fights, and they always had consequences.
That’s the thing with most super hero books, there usually isn’t a whole lot of consequence to the action. When we do it we want it to mean something. If someone is in a fight then they are going to be hurt. Our characters don’t just bounce back from incredible brawls without a scratch. And they don’t fight constantly, because they have lives. They do other things.
If they tried to fight as much as heroes in most books they would probably die. If Batman is just a normal guy with some money and gadgets how the hell does he take all that extreme punishment? Easy answer: he wouldn’t. And I like Batman. But this ain’t Batman.
So enjoy Black Snow for what it is, don’t hate it for what it is not. And take some time to get to know the characters, because that’s what it’s really all about.
Oh, and before I conclude this sojourn into the “intellectual” merits of this comic, let me just point out art wise that I tried to do something to make the scene a little more exciting with the layout and the switching angles. I also went with a more minimalistic approach with the background. I used to do a lot more minimalism, then I tried to go the reverse route with this graphic novel and focus on the settings. I think there are times where both are appropriate depending on the mood you are trying to create. So I’ll probably be playing around with that more.
You can look forward to some real fun minimalism next month in Detroit Mock City, where I think I’ve done it better than ever.