I don’t have nearly as much to say about this page as I did last week. It’s fine and all, it’s just the middle of the scene without a whole lot that stands out to me. Except that panel of Black Snow lighting up his cigarette. That’s pretty spectacular and dramatic.
Much like I discussed drinking being a major part of the character last week so is smoking. It’s funny to me that these were both indelible aspects of cool during the 90’s prime of the anti hero, yet they are both so heavily demonized today. Unlike drinking I’ve never tried smoking, so drawing it is a bit more foreign to me. Since I need to be drawing it a lot, like almost every time the main character of the story is shown, I’ve been studying smoking from a visual aspect more and more.
There really are a wide variety of ways to smoke, and I really wanted to do my best to tap into the grizzled older chain smoker who does it all without even thinking about it. This is something I continue to work on.
What else is there to say about this page? A little nice back and forth with Black Snow and Black Power. I was a little skeptical when Alex wanted to include Black Power as a bartender in our revamp of Black Snow, but now that I know his larger story and role I’m glad we did. You’ll start to see more of it soon enough, but you can already get a sense of how he has to deal with these superheroes in a rather unique way that gives him some interesting input into what they are really like.
Black Snow’s childish deflection of Brad is fun, and I like them interacting. In some ways I think we should have moved up Brad’s story a bit and done this scene earlier, but it also makes sense here as tension continues to build and we are obviously headed towards a major turning point in the story. And if that wasn’t obvious to you…well, I just spoiled it, I guess. Not that it is much of a spoil. Clearly we’ve been building towards something, and you’ll be seeing a big payoff scene pretty soon.
In that regard this has been a slow moving story. A semi-friend of Alex (he has a lot of those) was talking to us at the comic convention and asked what the story was about. Before we really answered he smugly said “I bet it contains a conflict”. To which Alex replied “Not really”. And that’s the truth, especially up to this point. It’s been a lot of world building and set up.
Normally I’d say that is bad writing and a bad story, and maybe it still is here, but I don’t think so. What I do think is that we are telling a very non-traditional story that does not adhere to many of the standard rules of the boiler plate hero templates. I’ve taking screenwriting classes and countless literature courses so I’m well aware of the regular techniques used to craft a story, and I think it is OK to eschew them as long as you understand them and have a reason for it. I can’t say for sure that Alex and I do, but at least I think we do.
The major plot points up until now can be summed up rather quickly: the Lone Wolf may be a corrupt superhero, Redemption has some sort of agenda that includes killing sinners, Van Buren has some big deals coming up in his criminal exploits, the police are cracking down on super powered individuals, and Black Snow is struggling to achieve some notoriety as a superhero. At this point these are all very disparate plots, but you wouldn’t be wrong in guessing that they are all starting to come together.
So stick around a little longer and you’ll see where this is all finally heading.