I think this page contains my new favorite scene transition, beating out my previous example from Black Snow issue 4.
I was really excited to do this page ever since I laid it out (about a month ago). We are switching to a very different scene here, and I think this will be the moment where the story shifts into a whole new gear. A new level of intensity that I don’t think we’ve ever seen, even in the highly dramatic and violent Black Snow issue 5.
So we go from the bright , sanitary office setting to the grimy alleys and over passes of Detroit. We’ve never done much to really show the streets of Detroit, and I was always disappointed in that. I felt we had not really fully captured the spirit of what we were trying to accomplish. Of course these were more feelings than actual coherent thoughts.
But as soon as Alex and I worked on this scene I knew that we were finally going to be presenting Black Snow in the way that I had really envisioned it all along. It”s not that I don’t like the bar or apartment conversation scenes, it’s more that we needed some scenes like this to balance them out.
Barfing in the alley, the deep shadows, walking in these dangerous decaying areas, movement for the characters – I love it! You’ll notice that I’ve changed my drawing style pretty significantly here to use much heavier “inking” in a way that I haven’t attempted since Black Snow issue 5. But I think I’ve already outdone myself on this page. This is what I wanted that issue to look like.
And I’m having a ton of fun doing it. You may notice that I’m looser in my line work, not so formal or rigid as I feel I can sometimes be. I think working on Detroit Mock City helped me try new things and experiment with ideas I normally wouldn’t have.
Another source of inspiration is all the Batman I’ve been reading lately (in addition to all the black shadows I regularly get in my Mignola comic). The Dark Night Returns, Year One, Hush, The Long Halloween; I read them all on my new Kindle Fire. I also saw the Year One dvd, which was pretty cool. The Long Halloween, while being the least polished looking of the 4, had the unique noir look that was in the vein of what I’ve always wanted to do with Black Snow.
So look for things to pick up quickly and get more intense.
I might also add that Alex and I recently had a pretty amazing writing meeting which contained a real moment of clarity, and now I think we both have a good idea of how long the story will be and exactly what will happen. It’s not exactly what we thought when we started out on TDM; it’s much better.
So get excited, I am!