This is kind of an interesting page, because I played with a couple page elements. While I think my drawing has obviously improved since working on Two Drink Minimum I think that my page layouts were actually more creative in the original comic book series. So far things in TDM have been laid out in a pretty straight forward manner, and I intend to start varying things more.
I didn’t actually think that when I started this page, it just happened to be written in a more interesting way than usual. That series of panels in the middle of the page is something that I haven’t done a lot of, really emphasizing the passage of time over the course of a single dialogue. Time is the one element that people have always struggled with in comics, and there’s been a number of creative solutions.
The ability to demonstrate time is really the biggest difference between comics and movies, which you may recall I got my degree in. Go back and look at my old drawings in the comic books, especially starting with Issue 2, and you’ll see I really did try a lot of things, some of which were even successful.
Here I think it is a pretty cool thing to see Lightning Lad’s disappointment to his treatment by Black Snow and his dismissal by being largely ignored. It is meant to represent not just this moment, but the larger relationship between he and Black Snow, and his dad. You may also notice how Black Snow lights up here, as he and Lightning Man are old friends. An example of more background and substance this time around.
The other thing here is a pretty stark scene transition. Previously I usually labeled my scene switches telling the reader exactly where they were and if any time had passed. You know the whole “Meanwhile, across town at the Police Station” kind of thing. To me it is a classic comic thing, and I thought it was something fun to play with.
Well, classic can also mean outdated. I recently read How to Draw and Sell Comics: Third Edition, and really gained a lot from it. I’ve read a lot of these type of books on the subject, but I genuinely consider this to be the best. Hell, I finally learned an easy way to solve the space between the color fill and black line after all these years! But the more relevant thing I read about was the art of scene transitions, which I honestly had not spent a lot of thought on previously.
The book used Alan Moore as an example of someone who revolutionized things by brilliant connecting all his scenes in interesting ways. Of course those are lofty expectations to meet, and I doubt we could ever come close to matching that, but we can do better than straight forward. I intend to talk with Alex about this, since a lot of it rests on the writer. But I’ll do what I can, like being selective on when I do and don’t overtly label the transitions with a location or time.
I also want to point out a happy coincidence here. Black Snow talking about names followed by Kurt and Mary talking about Black Snow’s name. A bit of a cool transition there. And I know it was a coincidence because I was with Alex when he wrote it. Unless he thought about it and didn’t say anything to me, I guess. Still, accident or not, it’s a start. And I know Alex has some other funny ones planned based on juxtaposition, which I guess we’ve done a little of before, mostly in the previously mentioned original comic books.
Also just notice the stark difference in location from the dark terrible apartment to the bright and sanitary office. I think we are fairly good at that sort of thing, rapid shifts in tone.
I’ll leave you with my favorite and most memorable scene transition that we’ve done, and I don’t think it was written this way but just something I thought of at the time. It is page 21 of Issue 3, and I’m referring to the middle sequence and the overlap of Angel’s bold dialogue on Black Snow and Lightning Lad sitting on the couch wasting times like idiots. Enjoy.