December 7, 2010

The Origin version 2

Gah! It's been forever since my last post! 

I've been working away for Jason for the last month or two, and I thought I should post what we've put together. Jason seems to be shying away from these pencil+ink pages, so I figured I would show them here, above the straight B/W images (those are in the post previous to this one). If and when I get lettered versions of these pages I'll make sure to post them so that you can really see what the story is all about.

Which gets me thinking... Comics without text: I've read/heard numerous times that a comic page needs to be able to stand without the text. That as an artist, you're not doing your job if the reader can't understand what's going on without reading the text. It's something I've believed for a long time, assuming that those who said it knew what they were talking about. Now though, my opinion is starting to shift. Comics are, by definition, the marriage of words and images. And often, the use of words falls as much into the territory of "image" as it does "word". Text boxes direct the eye, while the length of each batch of text helps define the amount of time passing in the panel. These things are important, and, I would say, should be accounted for when designing the page. What do you think? Does a reliance on text weaken comics work, or does it strengthen it?

While working on these pages, I spent a great deal of time listening to Webcomics Weekly, a podcast put on by Scott Kurtz, Kris Straub, Dave Kellett, and Brad Guigar (click here if you want to take a look at their work). During that time I found myself rekindling my love of cartooning a la Calvin and Hobbes and it finally clicked for me why I've always preferred more stylized images. I grew up loving 3 panel comics, I devoured them constantly (Garfield was a longstanding favorite) and all that time spent pouring over the work of cartoonists in my formative years helped to shape my personal preferences in my adult life. Which is all a round about way of saying two things: One, if you like cartooning, take some time to listen to the Webcomics Weekly podcasts, they're a ton of fun, and incredibly informative. And two, if you notice that my work starts to take a decided turn towards the styles usually found in the funny pages... now you know why. I won't stop doing full pages, as I just don't see myself working 3 panels at a time, but I'd be very happy to follow along in the footsteps laid out by Jeff Smith.

The Origin version 1