Today’s comics homework had the following challenge: you get a short, predefined script, for which you must choose 3 different layouts, changing the pacing and the accents but not the narrative nor the characters. So three times the same story, but with different panel-to-panel relations.
Script to follow:
The MONSTER crashes down the hallway towards our hero, DeeDee Danger, and her sidekick, Karl. She carries a laser blaster that looks like it would be useless against the hulking power of the Monster. Karl cowers behind DeeDee as the Monster’s weight begins to collapse the concrete floor.
Karl: “Get us out of here, DeeDee.”
“The floor is crumbling.”
“The whole place is going to come down!”
(Try to create your own comic with the above script first!
What Karl, what kind of DeeDee and what monster are you thinking of?…
Now take a look at what I did to it):
I immediately thought “if the heroine of this story is named DeeDee Danger, then she simply MUST be a fierce drag queen!” I think I became the first (and only one) among all course-members to come up with a non-scifi non-fantasy styled visual scenario.
So here I present:
The adventures of DeeDee Danger The Drag Queen, and her sidekick Karl the Gay Skinhead – fighting the HIV virus monster!
I think the above ‘inset’ version is the most successful of my 3 comics, because it provides all of the space to show what is happening in this quaint bar, and it shows Karl’s panic really well. Although I wish I had made DeeDee ‘cooler’ in the first panel. I am not an ‘action’ cartoonist, which shows in the way that the two running figures don’t really feel like they are running. If I would have had more time, I would have improved this. Still turned out quite fabulous!
This 9-panel version feels a little less successful, because I felt it was really difficult to spread the action in this tiny eenie weenie script across more than 4 panels, but I am happy with how cool and tough and fierce DeeDee turned out and I like the green on the HIV virus. I love my cute HIV-monster in the last panel! My new Zebra extra-thin pocketbrush is paying off.
Here I ‘broke’ the narrative on purpose, putting as much emphasis on DeeDee as possible, because I want the reader to pause at her for a moment before going back to Karl’s panic. I think this could have been better if I would have had a panel showing how DeeDee slowly takes off her glasses and grabs her gun, So I would put DeeDee’s close-up instead of the panel with the shaking disco ball, and after that a new panel with DeeDee’s hand grabbing her odd gun. It’s interesting how many small panels feel like abstract storytelling.
Note: There were 14 grids to pick from – I chose layouts that I would normally never use. But this 3-panel cinematic thing is one that I would like to be able to master. I was late with the assignment so didn’t have time to really think hard to make the most of the broad spacious experience of these panels. I think the second panel would be better if DeeDee was trying to fight the virus up close so that Karl would be further away from her. And I’m not too happy with the first panel, I wish I made the close-up to the monster much more dramatic – I drew it with my broad Pentel pocketbrush, which I find beautiful but difficult.
PS: DeeDee’s gun is – of course – a sensual gun:
I’m starting to get used to my new ‘rotoscoping’ style – it’s relatively quick, anatomically correct and visually effective, and I still have the opportunity to make the drawings messy with my brushpens, which I like.
On to the final challenge: a thumbnail storyboard for 8 full pages. Deadline: less than a week already…