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Author Topic: The sequential thread  (Read 2477 times)

terrapin

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The sequential thread
« on: 22 May, 2012, 09:58:19 PM »
I was reading through the attempts at the sample script thread (which has been very interesting lately) and thought it would be a good idea to have a thread devoted to sequential art theory. I spend too many hours trawling the internet looking for pages on panels, establishing shots, cinematic choices, pacing etc. Having one thread where people could share ideas and knowledge on this art form has to be a good thing.

So to get the ball rolling - an interesting page i found on Paneling, Pacing, and Layout in Comics - lots of food for thought here

http://lilrivkah.livejournal.com/168859.html


El Chivo

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Re: The sequential thread
« Reply #1 on: 22 May, 2012, 11:58:32 PM »
Good idea for a thread
Interesting article too at first skim

Chi

terrapin

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Re: The sequential thread
« Reply #2 on: 23 May, 2012, 05:36:58 PM »
Thanks Chivo, I had never thought of the pacing of panels in my work before reading this article. I would choose to make one panel larger than another to illustrate its importance, but the fact it could slow down the pace of the story was a bit of a revelation. I like the idea of the artwork having a beat

"Will Eisner set a precedent in his paneling by going with an "A, B, A, B" approach. A rhythmic variation from bordered panel to borderless and back again. It creates a sort of "beat" that helps maintain a constant interest in the storytelling. Like the bass beat in dance music. There's no tune necessary for the melody itself, but somehow . . . it keeps you tapping your feet and interested in the song. It's rhythmic and therefore unstoppable."

Finally drawing your scene without framing it in a panel at all to create a sense of timelessness - a useful device for a thought provoking moment in the script

Simud

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Re: The sequential thread
« Reply #3 on: 24 May, 2012, 03:30:30 PM »
In connection to Terrapin's link, let me share this also interesting analysis I found some weeks ago while researching a bit on panel density:

http://www.pandadogpress.com/2010/04/panel-density-pacing-in-invincible-iron.html

terrapin

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Re: The sequential thread
« Reply #4 on: 24 May, 2012, 09:20:51 PM »
woh thats mathematical.

Interesting to hear things from a writers point of view. The more words in a panel the slower the pace of the story. There are times when ive been enjoying reading a page and then got frustrated by a dense block of lengthy dialogue. People tend to think of the artist as the visual story teller but the number of panels and the pacing of the text is initially down to the skill and vision of the writer.

On a side note, Ive always hated a symmetrical 8 panel layout. Its like looking at a tv shop window - is that just me?

« Last Edit: 24 May, 2012, 09:22:42 PM by terrapin »

Simud

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Re: The sequential thread
« Reply #5 on: 24 May, 2012, 10:57:48 PM »

On a side note, Ive always hated a symmetrical 8 panel layout. Its like looking at a tv shop window - is that just me?

Hehe... well, yes, I guess it's just like that for many contemporary readers. Perhaps it didn't call readers' attention that much in the past, when symetrical panel grids were the rule (I'm wondering now how much influence may films have had for this old-school convention), but now, they act like a self-referential marker --you can't avoid thinking of the panel layout when you meet that kind of arrangement.

terrapin

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Re: The sequential thread
« Reply #6 on: 25 May, 2012, 06:02:15 PM »
Having said that i just read a graphic novel that used this panel layout a lot and it worked really well. Its a book by shaun tan called the arrival. Its a graphic novel with no words and so the panels read almost like an animation storyboard. Would have loved to see the script for the artist to work from here.

http://www.shauntan.net/books/the-arrival.html

ghostpockets

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Re: The sequential thread
« Reply #7 on: 28 May, 2012, 07:05:26 AM »
Great idea for a thread, terrapin. I have a few links to share.

First a very interesting article about "cinematic" comics...

http://supervillain.wordpress.com/2010/07/05/emma-peel-sessions-39-cinema/

Frank Santoro's layout workbook series takes a very technical approach to comics-making, this is quite dry stuff but I found it fascinating. I was surprised to find myself doing some of this subconsciously already, it's all about "working the grid"...

http://www.tcj.com/layout-workbook/
http://www.tcj.com/layout-workbook-2/
http://www.tcj.com/layout-workbook-3/
http://www.tcj.com/layout-workbook-4/
http://www.tcj.com/layout-workbook-5/
http://www.tcj.com/layout-workbook-6/
http://www.tcj.com/layout-workbook-7/
http://www.tcj.com/layout-workbook-8/
http://www.tcj.com/layout-workbook-9/
http://www.tcj.com/layout-workbook-10/
http://www.tcj.com/layout-workbook-11/
http://www.tcj.com/beto-versus-cf-layout-workbook-12/

A lot to digest there, but it basically boils down to this...



Frank actually runs a correspondence course where he expands on his theories and guides his students through creating a 16 page book in 8 weeks. Very tempting, if only I had $500 lying around.

Simud

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Re: The sequential thread
« Reply #8 on: 30 May, 2012, 03:40:11 AM »
For the more theoretically minded: Neil Cohen is one of the few cognitive psychologists and linguists studying the comic medium. In his blog, he posts reviews/summaries to papers he's reading or writing, and has no problem in answering questions about comics from his academic point of view:

http://blog.emaki.net/

Some of his papers are also very interesting:

http://www.emaki.net/readings.html


terrapin

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Re: The sequential thread
« Reply #9 on: 30 May, 2012, 03:29:03 PM »
Great links ghostpockets and simud, im working my way through the cinematic article at the moment. Its fascinating to read how story telling techniques have been developed over time. A variety of names and examples to research here.

terrapin

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Re: The sequential thread
« Reply #10 on: 14 June, 2012, 10:06:20 PM »

Simud

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Re: The sequential thread
« Reply #11 on: 19 June, 2012, 02:46:53 AM »
good blog on use of environments in layouts

http://dresdencodak.tumblr.com/post/823055970/environments-are-people-too

Interesting approach. I'm still wondering whether it's right to analyse comics having audiovisual art as the model; but it seems to work in the article. I'll be pondering this for a while.