Monday, October 17, 2011

Meanwhile, ...

Page 5, Panel 3, “Give Me a ‘D!’ Give Me an ‘E!’ Give Me an ‘I!’”
Scarlet red pencil and black India Ink on Bristol board.
25.72  x  12./70 cm  (10.125 in.  x  5.00 in.)

Panel 2:
Close up of the trophy. Doctor Dockter's hands are on the bottom of the trophy. Some of the girls' hands are reaching in for it. The trophy looks weird at this close view. It has strange markings and skulls on it. The girls are grabbing the trophy, and a sort of electricity is shooting through them and crackling over them. 

Cheerleader: We won! 

Panel 3: 
They look like they are in agony. Doctor Dockter is behind them in silhouette, smiling. Closer in on one of the girls in mid transformation. Their clothes are ripping. They’re kind of hulking out. 

Caption: But wait! A strange energy pulses out of the trophy...

— excerpt from the script by Merrill Hagan.

Some times when working from a script, I can just draw what’s written on the page. Most times, I pause and ask “what would work better?” As the editor-in-chief and publisher, I empower the artist (me again) to make changes - not changing the story but clarifying the story by shuffling or editing components of the script.

As an example, the actions described in panel 2 were just too numerous for a static image. It’s a close-up of the trophy and a bunch of hands (Dr. Dockter’s and the cheerleaders’). Added on that electricity effects crackling over the cheerleaders, whom would be indistinguishable if they’re only represented by hands.

So I instead introduce the electricity effects to panel 3, even though it would have carried into panel 3 any ways. The result is a more dramatic contrast between the states of before and after when the cheerleaders grab the trophy. 

I chose to remove Dockter from both panels 2 and 3 since he commands 1 and returns in 5 with the beginnings of a declaration, making 2 and 3 entirely about the cheerleaders’ experiences. On the reader’s part, she/he assumes the all noted characters remain in play for the entire sequence even if they’re not all depicted in every panel. By that reckoning, the reader should also be assuming that Tuff-Girl, last seen on page 2, is still around seeing all this craziness.

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