Saturday, September 18, 2010

Fell #5

Fell #5 - Comic of the DayCreating 365 Days of Comics was primarily a project to help me with my writing; however, I am finding that writers such as Warren Ellis, Brian Michael Bendis, Ed Brubaker and Brian K. Vaughan, and artists such as Ben Templesmith, Tony Moore, George Perez and Stuart Immonen are teaching me how to create a comic book to fit it's specific story.

Proper Panel Placement

Fell #5, by Warren Ellis and Ben Templesmith, is a great example of how a comic book story about a something as simple as a detective getting a suspect to confess to a crime may have several different ways it can be framed and presented, but the tone and desired reaction may need a specific unique technique. The series Fell often uses a lot of panels to tell it's stories. There are several pages with 9 panels in total. The amount of panels help present the story with a specific pace and emphasis on any given scene. The dialog and art in the actual panel are not always necessary when understanding the intent of a panel, but rather the size or even page placement can be the key factor to understand the story.

The comic of the day, Fell #5, specifically has a lot of 9 panel pages with quick little scenes of dialog that let the reader know that there is a calculated back and forth between the detective and the suspect. In fact, once detective Richard Fell and the suspect are locked in conversation the only times the panels take up more than one ninth of the page is when something unsuspected by detective Fell happens. The brief moments of large panels shock the reader just as they do the main character, thus involving the reader in the story as if they are actually there.

I know use of panels is important to comic book story telling, but not until I started to dabble in comic book writing on the side and getting through several issues of Fell did I realize the strength of panel placement and size. I always gush over Ellis books because his stories provide me with great pleasure, but this time it is more than pleasure I have received: it's also knowledge.

(Side note: Pick up the Fell trade.)

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