Sunday, July 7, 2013

Kodikas Galanos and balancing panels

Code Blue - - which in hospital slang is generally used to indicate a patient in need of immediate medical attention. Switch that into Greek, Cyprus' national language (along with Turkish, I understand) and you've got the name of the latest scene, Kodikas Galanos.

And not to be too confusing with the language switche-r-oo, I even made a point to specifically point out that Blue in Greek is Galanos way back on page 130. So that's where the name comes from, if you were wondering.

Once again, I wanted to keep the scenes short, for two reasons; first, it quickens the pace of storytelling, which is more exciting for readers (I hope) and second; it's more interesting for me to write and draw these scenes when they don't take a whole month to produce.

I hate drawing cars - - I totally avoided even sketching a car in this page. I just hate it.
I felt in an earlier scene that the downpouring rain turned out nicely, or at least accomplished what I hoped it would visually, so I was eager to include it again, and this seemed like as good a time as any. There was no call for rain in the script.

The script did, however, feature more gesticulation and language barriers between the motorist and Ian Escutcheon, but ... again ... for the sake of brevity, I eliminated that. Perhaps it would have been better if this were a more comedic moment, but the urgency I was hoping to imply didn't allow for it.

I couldn't fit the image into a quarter panel at the top, so I turned it into a banner-shape on the fly.
Sometimes the images don't fit, and instead of redrafting them, I just change it on the fly, without even erasing the guidelines. It doesn't feel necessary to be too refined in a quick draft. What's most useful when I'm putting these draft pages together is finding a way to share the images in a balanced manner.

For example, in the above page, four consecutive square panels might have looked a little to "geometric" or "blocky," and could have been a visual distraction. That might be useful at some point, but it didn't feel like a natural fit in this scene.

If I understand correctly, most comics writers draw on much larger sheets of paper, and then they're scaled down to fit into the standard comic book format, whereas I simply use 8.5"x11" common stock paper. When you've got a larger page, you have more room to do creative things with the panels, and add a lot more detail, which is later shrunk down into a really fine piece of work.

It'd be neat to try some time - - in fact, I actually used one and a half pages to draw this page: 
Follow the link to get a closer look, but I meant to put a LOT more detail into this page, because I wanted to really impress the spectacle of entering the Church of St. Lazarus. I think it turned out really well, though, if you look, in the middle panel amidst the seats, you can see the seam where I married the two pages together to complete the final image.

At first glance, I'd hope you wouldn't notice it - - granted, now I've pointed it out, it probably sticks out unavoidably.

The reason I did this was because I wanted the three saints hanging on the wall behind Dr. Miller to be more detailed than a small panel would allow. If you're familiar with your old saints (I'm not, but IF you are) you might recognize Saint Demitrius, Saint Moses the Black and Saint George the Dragon Slayer.

I think the added effort was worth while.
I wanted them to appear as faithfully as I could reproduce them. When they're just the size of a half of a dime on the original page I'm working on, it's hard to include any more detail than a mere shadow. Taking the extra time to draw them much larger than usual, and then shrinking it down, made all the difference.

ALL of that being said, finding a nice balance on a small page can sometimes be a challenge, I guess that's what I was trying to say.

Thanks for checking in - - if you have any questions, let me know, I'll be happy to answer them.

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Hey there, I am glad you have taken the time to leave a comment. Thanks - I am looking forward to reading it.