Page 26 and Dancing

Black Snow: Twp Drink Minimum page 26
Black Snow: Twp Drink Minimum page 26

So we end a rather fun silly scene with what is likely to end up being the goofiest page in the book. I’m going to give you a peek behind the curtain and show you the actual script for this page, as written by Alex.

Angel: I’m going to head to bed now, Eric. I’ll see you next week?

Eric: Yes. Next week. Italian. See you then.

Angel heads into her apartment. Eric stands in the hallway. Then he breaks out into a joyous triumphant dance.

We pull back to see Lightning Lad staring at him.

Lightning Lad: Black Snow needs you.

Eric: What is it?

Lightning Lad: The toilet isn’t flushing.

They aren’t broken up into pages by the way, that chopping up is left to my discretion. Sometimes I read a piece of script and see it instantly in my head. Other times I read it and have no idea what I am going to do or how I’m going to pull it off. Thankfully this was one of the former.

It is just such a fun visual moment with the capper of the always classic pull out gag. I really wanted you to feel Eric’s unbridled joy as it erupts in what he believes to be a private moment of celebration. My goal is to depict him as the ultimate loveable good guy dweeb underdog that you just can’t help but root for. Hopefully this page and scene as a whole accomplished that.

A few notes about dancing. As far as I can recall I’ve never drawn any dancing of any sort before, let alone happy solo victory dancing. So I’m surprised how easily it came to me (and yes, like many geeky artist I did act out the poses to understand how to draw them, something my wife likes to laugh at whenever she catches me. Though sometimes I get her to act them out).

Dancing has never come up in our comics, and rarely comes up in my life. This may surprise you, but your old pal Michael seldom breaks out into spontaneous victory dances. I barely know how to dance, truth be told. I went to a lot of dances as a teen, but that was just to be around girls, the actual dancing portion was of little interest to me. Basically I just do variations of shuffling from left to right with a bit of arm movement and foot play thrown in. If that doesn’t sound graceful, well it’s probably because it isn’t.

But I do enjoy when a new drawing challenge is thrown at me, especially a physical activity (which I enjoy but have never considered my strong suit). Hopefully this one made you chuckle.

By the way, I’m simultaneously reading a couple books on drawing (one a classic style of anatomy, the other a pretty comprehensive book specifically about comics), and well as a huge collection of H.P. Lovecraft stories, so we’ll see if those have any positive effects on my work. You may have caught a couple new things I tried in the facial area on the last couple pages that I picked up as I read through Hellboy vol. 11 about a week ago.

So now this scene is over, and we are about to start a scene which I consider to be are most intense, exciting and well written to date. Remember when I sang Alex’s improved writing praises sometime back? Well, you’ve already seen some of what I was talking about with the last two scenes, but this next one is what I was really thinking of. I’m going to have to take some time and serious effort to really do it justice.

Get excited for that…I am!

One thing that really sucks about comics is how long they take to do. This is felt 100 times more when we’re talking about a graphic novel, versus a strip or an issue. Sometimes I think about the whole story we want to tell and it can be quite overwhelming. I honestly don’t know how we’ll ever pull it off. Then I have to just break it done into the next couple scenes to make it manageable. Then just the current scene. Then just the current panel.

Basically all I can do is worry about what I’m working on at the moment, and handle the rest as it comes, doing it any other way is just too much for me to control and leads to doubt, which leads to pause, and stalls momentum.

Well, I’ll do my best to keep handling it one panel at a time and just hope that some day we’ll finish this book…only to start the next one (if I think of the whole planned series, it’s enough to make me lose my mind)!

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