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Thread: Your Own Private Wormhole, Part 2: The Case of the Befuddled Passenger

  1. LeeNordling Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by Rain View Post
    1:Write two different spaces in two separate panels, spaces that are clearly understood by the reader-passenger.

    Panel 1: From the point of view of a driver in the cockpit of a Formula 1 race car. We see a flag man standing on a wall to the right, waving a checkered flag. The driver has one arm extended out of the cockpit, pumping his fist in victory. We also see from our point of view that the driver's car is yellow, with a black 1 on the front body work. The car is about to pass text painted on the asphalt which reads: Monaco GP 2010.

    Panel 2: A flag man stands on a wall to the left of the panel, back to us, and waving a checkered flag. A yellow F1 car is coming towards him (and us) on the right side. The car has a black No 1 on the nose, the driver's right arm extended out of the cockpit pumping a fist in victory. The car is about to pass over text on the asphalt which reads (upside down to us, from this perspective): Monaco GP, 2010.

    2:Write two different spaces in two separate panels, spaces that are clearly understood by the reader-passenger. There will be a caption in panel one, and it will bridge to a caption in panel two.

    Panel 1: A muscle-clad soldier in fatigues fires a machine gun in the jungle.

    CAPTION: Rambo fought for his country in Vietnam...

    Panel 2: The same man, now wearing jeans and a T-shirt with a sack over his shoulder, is walking across a bridge. We see a Sheriff's Office cruiser is following closely behind his steps.

    CAPTION: ...only to be harassed by country-bumpkin cops when he returned to the good 'ole US of A.

    3: Write two different spaces in two separate panels, spaces that are clearly understood by the reader-passenger. One character of your choice will be in each of these locations, and what he/she/it says in a panel one balloon will bridge to his/her/its balloon in panel two.

    Panel 1: A classic "gray" alien with bulging black eyes sits on a grassy hill, looking at a full moon in the night sky. He's eating a slice of pizza.

    ALIEN: While I enjoy some aspects of life on Earth, particularly the food...

    panel 2: A classic "gray" alien with bulging black eyes sits atop a rocky crater in an otherwise barren, sterile landscape. He's looking towards a blue and green planet that is rising above the horizon, and framed by the blackness of outer space.

    ALIEN: ...I still prefer the ambiance of the planet's moon.

    Rain
    Rain's grade:

    1. PASS. Two cars at a specific NASCAR race.

    2. PASS. While we don't know the town, Rain has clearly made it important that his chosen locations are the two countries that John Rambo is in. Since this was clearly his intention, he's made his points well.

    3. PASS. Rain's cleverly repeated countries theme, but this time with Earth and our moon.

    Nice work.

    What's important to note is that Rain was clear about the nature of the locations he wanted imparted.

    Had his first example given us descriptive notations that this was in some southern state like South Carolina or Georgia, it would've FAILED, but he didn't. All he wanted us to know was that we were at a specific NASCAR race...even if others like me don't know where that specific race is located.

    In all three examples, he wrote with intention and met the parameters of the assignment.

    Next?

    --Lee
    Last edited by LeeNordling; Wednesday, March 24, 2010 at 03:32 PM.



  2. LeeNordling Guest

    For those who might be as befuddled as our befuddled passenger, when you tackle this assignment ask yourself ONE question about each panel: will the reader know EXACTLY where I want him to be.

    If it's NYC, you need to do something in the art objects, captions, or dialogue to make that clear.

    If it's Earth, you need to do something in the art objects, captions, or dialogue to make that clear.

    If it's Gerald's bathroom, you need to do something in the art objects, captions, or dialogue to make that clear.

    Don't be generic.

    Yes, often when we're writing a story generic is fine, because we might already know the story takes place entirely on an alien planet, so you won't have to specify "Gerald's bathroom on an alien planet" every time he needs to go to the head.

    But sometimes you'll need to whisk from one location to another, and we're practicing the use of various tools you will HAVE to use so as to not lose your reader-passenger.

    So, this exercise is primarily about learning how NOT to lose your reader-passenger. We're doing this, because this is one of the greatest failings I've seen in comics creators.

    And that's why all I REALLY care about, and all you SHOULD really care about, for this assignment is: intention and specificity.

    So, generic gets a FAIL, specificity gets a PASS, and now you know why, at least for this assignment.

    This should be easy, and if it's not, then all the more reason to work through your stumbling blocks. In sequential art terms, this should be no more complicated than writing a typo-free sentence.

    So, let's keep this going, and while I've written this a time or two, I plead with somebody to write something that simply does the job.

    You already know how to be creative, so now I'm asking you to simply address the saddle of this assignment.

    Be simple. Be clear. Be specific.

    --Lee
    Last edited by LeeNordling; Wednesday, March 24, 2010 at 04:20 PM.



  3. danialworks Guest

    Assignment 1

    Panel 1. A ringed planet in the middle background. Approaching by space warp is a large, silver ship-- along the top of the ship's nose is written her name-- THE SABRE.

    Panel 2. An open doorway inside the Sabre-- clearly marked with a sign at the top that reads, MAIN ENGINEERING. An officer has just made her way through to the engineering side.



    assignment 2.


    Panel 1. A midwestern urban setting at night-- the street lamps are friendly, but the shadows on the buildings and store fronts hint more at menace.

    CAP: Milwaukie, Wisconsin.

    Panel 2. A old tavern in the background. Four police cars with flashing lights overpower the street lamps in the night. Four plainclothes detectives with shadowed faces stand over the body of a man in the gutter.

    CAP: Mike's Tavern.

    Assignment 3

    Panel 1. Pretty and Dapper-- faces elated-- are looking up at the Eiffel Tower.

    Dapper: Wow! The Eiffel Tower!

    Panel 2. The uppermost observation deck of the landmark. Dapper and Pretty both look worn out.

    DAPPER: Wow!! What a long climb to the top!



  4. LeeNordling Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by danialworks View Post
    Assignment 1

    Panel 1. A ringed planet in the middle background. Approaching by space warp is a large, silver ship-- along the top of the ship's nose is written her name-- THE SABRE.

    Panel 2. An open doorway inside the Sabre-- clearly marked with a sign at the top that reads, MAIN ENGINEERING. An officer has just made her way through to the engineering side.



    assignment 2.


    Panel 1. A midwestern urban setting at night-- the street lamps are friendly, but the shadows on the buildings and store fronts hint more at menace.

    CAP: Milwaukie, Wisconsin.

    Panel 2. A old tavern in the background. Four police cars with flashing lights overpower the street lamps in the night. Four plainclothes detectives with shadowed faces stand over the body of a man in the gutter.

    CAP: Mike's Tavern.

    Assignment 3

    Panel 1. Pretty and Dapper-- faces elated-- are looking up at the Eiffel Tower.

    Dapper: Wow! The Eiffel Tower!

    Panel 2. The uppermost observation deck of the landmark. Dapper and Pretty both look worn out.

    DAPPER: Wow!! What a long climb to the top!
    1. FAIL. Image one: What's the ringed planet? Knowing this is part of the assignment. It might be Saturn or some other ringed planet. Image two: While your description indicates this image is inside the ship, you don't actually specify that; the "MAIN ENGINEERING" could be on the Titanic for all I know. This is another good example of being aware of the difference between your intent and the executed reality.

    2. PASS. Milwaukee and Mike's Tavern.

    3. FAIL. While the first panel does the job, the second one is "on the observation deck," but we haven't really told the reader we're on the observation deck. Yes, it's a logical assumption...but we are requiring specificity. If somebody was saying (awkward as it is), "Y'know the observation deck of the Eiffel Tower is a lot higher up than it looks from the ground," then this would be a PASS.

    We'll worry about writing well after we've been able to consistently and correctly address the assignment.

    Thanks.

    --Lee



  5. danialworks Guest

    One

    Panel 1. A late 1800's steam locomotive marked ENGINE 49 chugs along.

    SFX: Chugagagachuggachugga

    Panel 2. A big sign reads, WELCOME TO DODGE. THE FRIENDLIEST TOWN IN KANSAS! Tom Fuddled is the first excited traveller off the passenger car behind the coal carrier and engine 49.

    TWO

    Panel 1. A hawk-nosed woman watches Tom sign the register at the main desk of a hotel lobby.

    CAP (TOM): I could hardly force myself to take the time to check into my room at Abbot's hotel...!

    Panel 2. Tom is on a big roan horse-- riding hard for a big ranch house.

    CAP (TOM): Every part of my heart and soul needed to get out to Foster's Ranch, and Becky, as fast as I could!

    Three

    Panel 1. Tom-- looking deadly serious-- and Becky-- looking only desperate and frightened-- are on the porch of the ranch house.

    TOM: I can't just marry you and live here in your father's house, Becky!

    TOM: Not knowing how those men shot him down in cold blood!

    Panel 2. We're inside a gun shop. Tom's face is earnest. He's being studied over the top of spectacles by a wizened old man.

    TOM: That's why I'm here in your gun shop, Mr. Dickens. Becky doesn't understand--

    TOM: But her father needs justice.



  6. LeeNordling Guest

    Danial:

    1. FAIL. Panel one, where are we? If reading the panel doesn't answer this question, it's always going to be a FAIL. Always. No exceptions. That's the assignment.

    2. PASS. Very nice, a western.

    3. PASS. Also nice, and now we know that Tom Sawyer married Becky Thatcher and moved west.

    Advice for #1. Add a caption that says where the train is, then we'll know where the train is.

    Just in case there's a misunderstanding, I don't care what tools you use to clarify the location in the reader-passenger's mind. Numbers 2 & 3 just have some additional editorial requirements so folks will think about using all the tools.

    --Lee



  7. danialworks Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeNordling View Post
    Danial:

    1. FAIL. Panel one, where are we? If reading the panel doesn't answer this question, it's always going to be a FAIL. Always. No exceptions. That's the assignment.

    2. PASS. Very nice, a western.

    3. PASS. Also nice, and now we know that Tom Sawyer married Becky Thatcher and moved west.

    Advice for #1. Add a caption that says where the train is, then we'll know where the train is.

    Just in case there's a misunderstanding, I don't care what tools you use to clarify the location in the reader-passenger's mind. Numbers 2 & 3 just have some additional editorial requirements so folks will think about using all the tools.

    --Lee
    number one

    For panel 1, add a battered, half-fallen over sign that says "Dodge City - 10 miles." I'm going to leave "Kansas" only in the sign in panel 2, but add a second sign that says "Railway Depot."



  8. drgerb Guest

    First off I wanna say I misunderstood the assignment with my first attempts. I thought by location, you meant the location in respect to each panel... Like proportionally? I didn't realize each panel stood on it's own and you wanted the location of each. I took it as a 'We're in a room. In panel one, the camera is on the western wall of said room, and in panel two the camera is on the eastern wall.' I didn't realize you meant to describe WHICH room, who's house, which city, etc.

    Assignment 1.

    Panel 1. A wide out shot of the Las Vegas strip. In the foreground is that famous 'Las Vegas' sign.

    Narration: So they say what happens here stays here... But I still hope I don't find myself in any awkward situations.

    Panel 2. A shot of the inside of a seedy looking hotel room. The camera is sitting on the bed, and in the foreground, on the bed, is the narrator resting with his head on the pillow staring at a little person woman stripper who's shaking her rear at him. Between the two characters we see the window of the hotel room. In the background, outside, there is a sign that reads, 'Dale's Love Shack, Las Vegas, NV.' and the Vacancy light is on.

    I think this works. Just to be sure, I added in the Las Vegas sign so anyone who doesn't know the Las Vegas strip will understand where we are. And in the second, I added in the 'Las Vegas, NV' so we know which motel within which city we're in.


    Assignment 2.

    Panel 1. A shot from over the shoulder of Bobby, who's wearing his high school graduation gown and staring back at his high school for one last time.

    Narration: My time in high school never really readied me for the unforgiving outside world...

    Panel 2. A similar shot, though Bobby is now an old man staring at the jam packed Bingo parlor of old slobbering people playing Bingo.

    Narration: ...Of never winning at Bingo.

    I think this works: It follows Bobby from high school to Bingo parlor. I don't think it matters WHICH high school or WHICH Bingo parlor, or which city they're in. This is the point I get confused. I don't know how far I should go when telling the reader where exactly we are. I feel like we see Bobby graduating high school: That's all the info we need. It doesn't matter which city he graduated in. And it goes to Bobby as an elder in a Bingo parlor. It shouldn't matter which parlor it is. I think you'd agree with me here, Lee, but if not please explain why. If we do need more information, I could add in a sign in panel one that reads, 'Anywheresville High School, USA.' but that seems a bit far fetched. Blah. Sorry. At times I just don't QUITE fully comprehend just how much is expected of me.


    Assignment 3.

    Panel 1. A shot of Bill straining on the toilet as he's staring down at a postcard in his hand.

    Narration: Bill's bathroom, 2010.

    Bill: Wow...

    Panel 2. An over the shoulder shot from Bill's point of view staring up at Mount Rushmore. Bill's head is somewhat turned sideways in confusion.

    Bill (continued from panel 1): Hmph. It looked bigger in the postcard.

    Gah. I had to give in and add in the narration. At first the first panel was just a closeup of Bill's hand holding the postcard of Mount Rushmore. Until I realized we didn't know where we are. I then decided to zoom out and show Bill in the bathroom, and leave what's on the postcard up to the reader's imagination, which ends up being clarified on panel 2.



  9. LeeNordling Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by danialworks View Post
    number one

    For panel 1, add a battered, half-fallen over sign that says "Dodge City - 10 miles." I'm going to leave "Kansas" only in the sign in panel 2, but add a second sign that says "Railway Depot."
    1. PASS.

    Folks, moving forward, where there are revisions, please put the entire revised example together. The point is that somebody can read the whole thing and get it, not have to look for a previous post. (In my case, I remembered and didn't have to.)

    Thanks for the revision, Danial.

    Would you care to share thoughts on where the occasional disconnect has been for this.

    As I was writing to somebody, this SHOULD be snap-your-fingers simple, so I was surprised to see the problems.

    After my initial thinking that I hadn't been clear, I thought I'd been very clear, so the inability of folks to just look at what they wrote and ask, "Will the reader know exactly where this is?" remains puzzling.

    Do you think folks are rushing, or is it that this is too much like having to put on a saddle and do exactly what's being required with no (pun intended) leeway?

    --Lee



  10. arseneau77 Guest

    Quote Originally Posted by LeeNordling View Post
    As I was writing to somebody, this SHOULD be snap-your-fingers simple, so I was surprised to see the problems.

    After my initial thinking that I hadn't been clear, I thought I'd been very clear, so the inability of folks to just look at what they wrote and ask, "Will the reader know exactly where this is?" remains puzzling.

    Do you think folks are rushing, or is it that this is too much like having to put on a saddle and do exactly what's being required with no (pun intended) leeway?

    --Lee
    I think the problem was/is with our interpretation of the reader knowing 'exactly' where they are. In my example, the reader knew they were exactly in a baseball stadium, but I didn't see any indication prior to my post that specified that they needed to know WHICH stadium they were in (i.e. Yankee stadium in your response).

    I've been following the posts this week and I think others made the same mistake. I'm not saying you weren't clear enough in your instructions, only that I didn't see that qualifier that made reference to a SPECIFIC location, rather than an EXACT location.



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