Please note: This was originally written and published for Patrons on 2/19/19
I want to talk about panel direction. You’ll see posts online about this if you look; this isn’t a tutorial, rather, I just want to talk about examples I’ve found of it within my own work. Most recently, this was while working on the Kittens version of the Kittens/Bull comics (as seen in #other-stories on the discord.)
The reason I specifically want to talk about this example is because there is also a mistake that I feel I made. This calls back to my post about not always properly planning and how it’s a good exercise in your instincts, but it can leave you wanting when you go back later.
The page in question:
Firstly, let’s look at the mistake I made.
You can see here that Kittens is seated and pointing at his drink. This is my mistake. I missed an opportunity for his index finger to be pointing to another panel or other significant part of the page. This has actually haunted me a little because I regret not having the foresight, but again, this is an exercise in Dealing With It. Hopefully, my instinct from here on out will be stronger, having had this experience.
Secondly, I want to draw attention to the relationship between panels one and two.
I don’t feel qualified to talk about the color decisions, but what I did do intentionally was that Kittens and Bull are essentially back-to-back here, even with the gutter separating them. This should, hopefully, give the viewer an immediate vibe as to the relationship and how Kittens views Bull (And perhaps how they’re not exactly on the same page, emotionally.)
As for placement of the text, everything about the flow here is pretty standard.
Flow, flow, hard stop at “Guy can throw a real good punch.” (Take a second to breathe.) Then we move on to the rest of Kittens’s monologue, which slides right along with the background of the final panel… (Yes, Kittens is, by design, looking up at the Bull 2nd panel here. This is like what I should have done with the hand in the first panel.)
More on the final panel: The final panel here is just a redraw from the Bull comic, purposely ending the page so that it breaks up the flow and gives the reader a single moment of pause.
I wanted people who read both to have that moment of recognition. This was an important event for both characters, now seen from both of their points of view.
Sooo this was just me kinda ranting about things I did on this page, both intentional and unintentional. Still, I think it’s good to explain some of the thought process here. I’m not used to trying to explain the jumps my brain takes while making these decisions, so thank you for humoring me while I figure it out!