Grinding It Out
Panel 2: It’s interesting to me that the Charles Hatfield passage Ryan is quoting is essentially about creating context for your characters so that they’ll connect emotionally with a reading audience. In the preceding panel, Ryan has just pulled the camera out to provide an environmental context, all while the two characters discuss providing a context for autobiographical creations. It’s a brilliant little tonal match, where the art is in perfect sync with the intent of the dialogue. It’s the kind of synchronicity that you see writer/artist duos like, say, Frank Miller, Paul Pope, or Craig Thompson, do regularly, and when writers work with different artists, they strive to achieve this bliss of parity together. That top panel is probably my favorite panel so far, it’s beautiful artistically as a standalone panel, but when taken in context itself, it functions quite smartly as a singular component of the whole.