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Thread: The Comics Panel Time-Master--PART 3: Learning To Control Consideration Inside Panels

  1. CalvinCamp Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by drgerb View Post

    When I add in a table, I should be able to describe the entire table as I see it, and the reader will understand that the table outstretchs a character to the right of the previous character? I feel like describing each element, left to right, I'd have to constantly chop this table up into pieces, and describe the scene piece by piece.
    You're over-thinking it. Just describe elements where you want them to appear. If they spread across the rest of the panel, then they spread across the rest of the panel.

    If you have a clown sitting at a table littered with ashtrays and alcohol, a cloud of smoke in the air above, with a girl laying at his feet in a pool of blood and another clown looking on, then that's what you've got. Just describe the elements in the order you want those elements to appear. If you specifically want the girl sprawled across the rest of the panel, just say so.



  2. LeeNordling Guest

    A short reply that I think will address a lot of the complications being discussed.

    I did actually refer to the bag of tricks writers use to direct the eye AWAY FROM LEFT TO RIGHT.

    Right?

    Let's simply acknowledge that left-to-right is natural, and that there are a lot of things to do that would undercut that.

    For instance, Brian Bendis is brilliant at creating chains of balloons that will draw our eye in any direction he chooses...but that's him working AGAINST our inclination to read from left to right.

    So, by concerning yourself with these tools that will move our eye in different directions BEFORE fully grasping how to write the SIMPLE (yeah, simple) left to right order, you're trying to swim in the deep end of the pool with lead weights tied to your ankles...and haven't a chance of surviving.

    There are reasons, which I've explained, why we need to discuss this stuff one tool at a time...and that's because you have to learn to crawl before blasting off in a spaceship.

    We covered how panels read. Check.

    Now we're writing them, without camera direction, from left to right.

    That's it.

    If you concern yourself, at this stage, with how an artist can draw an eye down, instead of from left to right, you're sunk.

    BTW, we're going to be staying on this thread for at least the next two weeks, while the columns covers some other topics.

    I knew one week wasn't going to be enough for readers to grasp this, and moving onto the next aspects of how panels and balloons work would just compound the confusion.

    So, settle in, relax...and write a panel from left to right.

    --Lee
    Last edited by LeeNordling; Monday, January 04, 2010 at 05:24 PM.



  3. LeeNordling Guest

    Roberts, try reading my quickly written (if not well-written) example.

    Do you see that it reads left to right, or, to consider it another way, that the ordering of material progresses from one to the next?

    I don't stop at the end and write, "Oh, and by the way, there's a building in the background that's burning."

    If I were reading that art description, as an artist, I'd wonder where to put it, come to a conclusion, and stick it where I wanted to/thought it would work best.

    But if you, as the writer, wanted it to read before we got to the man on the divider (for whatever reason), well, then it should be WRITTEN when you wish it observed in the panel. Then, perhaps, you have a chance of it being drawn that way.

    So, back to the exercise.

    Five elements added in progression.

    Then starting over, balloons added to each level of the progression.

    Think of this as creative writing without a story.

    It's an exercise to build some sequential art storytelling muscles.

    --Lee
    Last edited by LeeNordling; Tuesday, January 05, 2010 at 08:42 PM.



  4. LeeNordling Guest

    Even though the new column is up, and there'll be another comics-and-film-related one next week, I urge folks to continue with this exercise.

    If you're just auditing the class, that's one thing.

    If you're reading this column because you really wish to raise your level of craft as comics creators, the work required in these last two columns will be the foundation of everything we discuss, meaning that you need to do the work to be able to write, or create, with intention.

    New topics we cover are going to build on these foundations, and if you have trouble with the new topics, trouble that I believe specifically relates to understanding these basic principles, I won't be able to help you through the problems with the new topics.

    As working comics creators, you should be able to handle both of these last two assignments in less than hour, a much shorter period of time than I spent writing them.

    So, it's on you.

    You can keep these last two threads alive by doing the work they require, or....

    I am reminded by the old adage about bringing the horse to water, and I wonder how many of you will now drink.

    Good fortune.

    --Lee



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