Action and Character in service of Storytelling
Our “Jekka” story has arrived at an active and bloody turn. Here are some thoughts on depicting action and character while keeping the storytelling as the primary consideration. I’ve cribbed these thoughts from the Trekker Fan Page, where I do regular “process posts” for each new page. I invite you to pop over there and “like” the page if you, you know, like the page. Onward:
Critical in a fight page is to keep the actions and situations clear. It’s easy to get carried away with flashy “action images”– an artist’s chance to show off with some high-voltage, fast-moving shots. But if the reader can’t clearly follow the story that’s unfolding, the drama loses its context, the reader is no longer immersed in the tale that you are charged with telling, and they are instead reduced to looking at some cool images. Gratifying to your ego as an artist, perhaps, but a complete failure on your one essential obligation as a storyteller. I try to set my bar higher than that: story first, always. And any “cool images” that emerge result from the flow of the tale being (hopefully) well-told.
One other point on this page: the thumbnail for panel one has Mercy flying in in a very Spider-man-like pose. That was my short-hand to myself for the general feel for the action I was after in the shot. When it came to actually constructing the figure for this panel, I knew I would have to find a pose that fit Mercy’s own body language/fighting style. Even in a fight scene, character is conveyed by unique pose and action. And Mercy, while being an extraordinarily accomplished bounty hunter, is no “superhero”, no Spider-man.
2014 comes to a close, and I look back with pride and joy at the progress Trekker has made this past year. As we turn the calendar, I’ll be looking ahead to the next steps I will be taking– along with your essential support– to keep Mercy and company thriving into the new year. Thanks to you all for coming along for the ride– see you here “next year”.