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jrod 09-21-2009 02:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dan Hill
Ack. You're right. I completely forgot to include the view or angle of the panel.

I'm not saying you need to set up the angle and the blocking in every panel. Personally, I think it should be saved for only panels where you have a particular look because, honestly, your artist will most likely have a better look than you. But, we're attacking these panels as if they're your money shots, and as if you have a look you 100% want. Then what's that look?

Magnus 09-21-2009 02:55 PM

I'll try a few.

Image 1
A quiet autumn day, in a light forrest, lies a sawed down birch among the yellow leaves, seemingly left behind by the lumberjacks.

Image 2
On the side of a snow-covered dirt road, a dark blue SUV has crashed and lies on its side. There are no signs of life, but it seems like the crash just happened.

Image 4
In the middle of a row at a half full sports stadium a young boy is crying, blood coming from his nose. His father is kneeling by him, comforting him, while two medics are examining him. On the row behind them a man in a hat is more interested in what's going on on the field/court (o/p).

Image 6
In the late hours at a wedding, most tables have been abandoned, the room dark, two guests are still having a ball. The woman in front, wearing a flowery summer dress, is finding something off panel hilarious, cracking up in the middle of a dance move. The fellow behind her, in a blue shirt and a loose red tie, hands in the air, find the woman's reaction more amusing than what's off panel.


The last two were a lot more difficult than the first. I think my shortcomings in your vocabulary freezes me up a bit and ruins the flow. When I imagine panels it's easier, hehe. But that might be because I'm sloopier...

jrod 09-21-2009 03:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magnus
But that might be because I'm sloopier...

Well hang on, Sloopy. Sloopy hang on.

(Sorry, couldn't resist a little McCoy's action...I'll get to your post later)

Dan Hill 09-21-2009 03:03 PM

I think this has rubbed off already.

I was just going over a script I'm writing at the moment and some of the panel descriptions were severely lacking.

I think this goes back to what is at the root of most of my shortcomings as a writer. I rush things. I need to slow down a little and consider things on a macro level first, starting with, as Jason says, the setting, mood, character and actions of each panel. After that the rest, the bigger picture I guess, will start to become clear.

jrod 09-21-2009 03:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Magnus
I'll try a few.

Image 1
A quiet autumn day, in a light forrest, lies a sawed down birch among the yellow leaves, seemingly left behind by the lumberjacks.

Image 2
On the side of a snow-covered dirt road, a dark blue SUV has crashed and lies on its side. There are no signs of life, but it seems like the crash just happened.

Image 4
In the middle of a row at a half full sports stadium a young boy is crying, blood coming from his nose. His father is kneeling by him, comforting him, while two medics are examining him. On the row behind them a man in a hat is more interested in what's going on on the field/court (o/p).

Image 6
In the late hours at a wedding, most tables have been abandoned, the room dark, two guests are still having a ball. The woman in front, wearing a flowery summer dress, is finding something off panel hilarious, cracking up in the middle of a dance move. The fellow behind her, in a blue shirt and a loose red tie, hands in the air, find the woman's reaction more amusing than what's off panel.


The last two were a lot more difficult than the first. I think my shortcomings in your vocabulary freezes me up a bit and ruins the flow. When I imagine panels it's easier, hehe. But that might be because I'm sloopier...

I think these are effective descriptions of the images but I do see where you're coming from as far as vocab freezes are concerned. Look, a panel description is a pocket-full of prose, but that doesn't mean it has to be Hemingway. If anything, I'd say the stripped down honesty of Vonnegut is a much better approach to paneling. Personally, I emulate a bit of Hunter S. Thompson in my panels because it's effective, succinct, and I get to say "fuck" and talk about sex and alcohol even if it has nothing to do with what I'm writing about.

So, yeah, I can read these panel descriptions and say, "I know what you want." But I don't think I'd want to read a 22-page script full of them. I mean, I will if there's money involved, but not for shits and giggles. It's not a fun read.

Put some personality in your panels, provided you don't go into Ayn Rand soliloquies or Stephanie Meyer adjective hackeries.

jrod 09-21-2009 03:46 PM

I've been getting a few private messages here and there. If anyone wants to ask me questions directly (although I prefer to have them in the threads) please email me at jrodinator@gmail.com . Nothing against PMs, it's just the character limit and the fact that I like to track conversations and pretty much file them away forever. Also, if you're looking for me on the web, I can generally be found at several different places but right now I prefer twitter: http://twitter.com/JayRodriguez .

And I think my services here may be warranting a bit of self-promotion so there's also my website: http://www.jasonrodriguez.com/
Facebook: http://www.new.facebook.com/Jason.Rod
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/eximious/
and YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/EximiousPress

Ok, back to whatevers - anyone want to step up and talk paneling? Anyone disagree with me? How about some artists, what do you guys prefer?

RonaldMontgomery 09-21-2009 03:58 PM

I enjoyed Rutu Modan's Exit Wounds. One thing she did, which I loved, was pose her characters very naturally and use body language to convey mood.
There's a scene where the female and male protagonists are in a hotel, and from the woman's posture you can tell she's interested in the guy. it adds another layer to the story being told in the dialogue.

I haven't seen a lot of artists do that, even the ones that work from photoreferences...it's like, they capture something real-life without any life in it...

JamieRoberts 09-21-2009 03:58 PM

Thought I should have a go at this, see how I come across.

Stopped halfway, since I have a frickin' stinkin' headache, but I'll do the others using whatever advice I'm given.

1 - A large, felled tree branch lays on a carpet of autumn leaves amongst a network of smaller dead branches.

2 - A dozen or so children of varying ages sit on a mattress in a room populated with colourful toys. Some are transfixed by the (off-panel) TV, although a small number enjoy talking or horsing around.

3 - Dark and distinct against a snowy embankment, an SUV lays on its side, buckled and damaged. Debris litters the ground in its wake. No smoke, no sign of life. Lonely, quiet and cold.

4 - Viewed at a jaunty angle, were looking down a row of seating at a sports event. The focus is on a small boy, visibly upset and seemingly inconsolable as three adults show concern.

5 - Main focus: a building of at least 7 storeys. The outer wall has been sheared away by a bomb-blast and the newly-exposed interior spews charred furniture over the edge each floor. A group of firefighters, dwarfed against the devastation, assess the damage from an eerily sunlit incline made of wreckage.

6 - A drunken wedding reception. Although the room has all but emptied, two young revellers keep the party alive on the dance floor. A young red-haired woman laughs heartily as a dishevelled man looks on longingly.

jrod 09-21-2009 04:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JamieRoberts
Thought I should have a go at this, see how I come across.

Stopped halfway, since I have a frickin' stinkin' headache, but I'll do the others using whatever advice I'm given.

1 - A large, felled tree branch lays on a carpet of autumn leaves amongst a network of smaller dead branches.

2 - A dozen or so children of varying ages sit on a mattress in a room populated with colourful toys. Some are transfixed by the (off-panel) TV, although a small number enjoy talking or horsing around.

3 - Dark and distinct against a snowy embankment, an SUV lays on its side, buckled and damaged. Debris litters the ground in its wake. No smoke, no sign of life. Lonely, quiet and cold.

4 - Viewed at a jaunty angle, were looking down a row of seating at a sports event. The focus is on a small boy, visibly upset and seemingly inconsolable as three adults show concern.

5 - Main focus: a building of at least 7 storeys. The outer wall has been sheared away by a bomb-blast and the newly-exposed interior spews charred furniture over the edge each floor. A group of firefighters, dwarfed against the devastation, assess the damage from an eerily sunlit incline made of wreckage.

6 - A drunken wedding reception. Although the room has all but emptied, two young revellers keep the party alive on the dance floor. A young red-haired woman laughs heartily as a dishevelled man looks on longingly.

I think these are good (aside from spelling mistakes, only one of which is forgivable if you're from England), you guys seem to be getting it. I'd maybe try to shy away from angle descriptors that really don't translate to art. If an artists sees a call-out for a "jaunty angle" his response may very well be, "what the fuck are you talking about?" But they certainly capture the mood, the setting, and the principles nicely.

JamieRoberts 09-21-2009 04:30 PM

Thanks, Jason. I used to pride myself on my spelling and as such I haven't used a spellcheck function in my life. Maybe it's time....

*sniff*

jrod 09-21-2009 04:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RonaldMontgomery
I enjoyed Rutu Modan's Exit Wounds. One thing she did, which I loved, was pose her characters very naturally and use body language to convey mood.
There's a scene where the female and male protagonists are in a hotel, and from the woman's posture you can tell she's interested in the guy. it adds another layer to the story being told in the dialogue.

I haven't seen a lot of artists do that, even the ones that work from photoreferences...it's like, they capture something real-life without any life in it...

Well now you're talking about subtext in comics with is a whole 'nother discussion. But it fits here, I guess, since we're talking about a single panel. But, yeah, subtext in your panels is SOOOOOO important.

I got to see Paul Pope speak at the Smithsonian some years ago. He was talking about his experiences working in a Japanese manga shop and he had one anecdote that has stuck with me for years. Often, in American comics, we have the scene where Superman is flying through the window, the caption says, "Superman flies through the window," and Superman's saying, "I'm flying through a window!" In manga, the storytellers aren't as wrapped-up in the physical action of Superman flying through a window, they want their readers to know what it feels like to be able to fly through a window. It's so elegant and it's something I try to impress upon everyone I talk to and edit.

I love manga. I think there are many Japanese artists and writers that are really pushing the medium and doing things over there that we just don't do over here. I almost see some of these mangakas (Naoki Urasawa in particular) as the true heirs to Eisner, the ones who really took the most from the techniques he developed and putting them to paper.

Urasawa is able to craft silent scenes that carry more weight than some American series can create in entire runs. He has an appreciation for space and light and postures that is unmatched by a lot of American illustrators and it's something that I'd love to see more of in comics. We see moments of it, you mentioned EXIT WOUNDS and I agree it gets there at times, and there are creators who truly use it effectively, creating western manga of a sort (BONE, most of Pope's work, and WE 3).

But, yeah, subtlety often goes a lot further than an explosion. And a quiet moment often says more than a speech. So use that, whenever you can.

RonaldMontgomery 09-21-2009 04:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jrod
Often, in American comics, we have the scene where Superman is flying through the window, the caption says, "Superman flies through the window," and Superman's saying, "I'm flying through a window!" In manga, the storytellers aren't as wrapped-up in the physical action of Superman flying through a window, they want their readers to know what it feels like to be able to fly through a window.

That changes the whole panel. Now we're flying WITH Superman, instead of an observer at his destination....


oooooohhh.

*light goes on*

jrod 09-21-2009 04:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JamieRoberts
Thanks, Jason. I used to pride myself on my spelling and as such I haven't used a spellcheck function in my life. Maybe it's time....

*sniff*

I type like a madman and tend to make so many spelling and grammar mistakes it's not even funny. And now that I have the iPhone it's a million times worst.

Use a browser with an auto spell check function, tho, and you'll be OK. Hard to ignore those red lines.

jrod 09-21-2009 04:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RonaldMontgomery
That changes the whole panel. Now we're flying WITH Superman, instead of an observer at his destination....


oooooohhh.

*light goes on*

The mangakas use a very simple technique to get there, too. It's the blank faces. The raceless, sometimes sexless and ageless faces of the protagonists matched against the highly-detailed faces of the antagonists and second-stringers. It's easy for a reader to see themselves in the protagonist, because the features are more iconic of any human face as opposed to a particular human face. You combine that with out-of-time scene setters and dynamic pops of action and the reader is transported into the book.

Magnus 09-21-2009 04:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jrod
Well hang on, Sloopy. Sloopy hang on.

(Sorry, couldn't resist a little McCoy's action...I'll get to your post later)

Haha, jezz christ. I'm gonna blame that mistake on my concussion...

Quote:

Originally Posted by jrod
I think these are effective descriptions of the images but I do see where you're coming from as far as vocab freezes are concerned. Look, a panel description is a pocket-full of prose, but that doesn't mean it has to be Hemingway. If anything, I'd say the stripped down honesty of Vonnegut is a much better approach to paneling. Personally, I emulate a bit of Hunter S. Thompson in my panels because it's effective, succinct, and I get to say "fuck" and talk about sex and alcohol even if it has nothing to do with what I'm writing about.

So, yeah, I can read these panel descriptions and say, "I know what you want." But I don't think I'd want to read a 22-page script full of them. I mean, I will if there's money involved, but not for shits and giggles. It's not a fun read.

Put some personality in your panels, provided you don't go into Ayn Rand soliloquies or Stephanie Meyer adjective hackeries.

Thanks for the input. I'll remember to slow down and take it from the top down, like you've mentioned earlier in the thread. When it comes to my vocabulary freeze I just gotta keep up reading and watching English. Like I said, I feel more in a flux when I drag the images from my imagination and down to the paper.


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