Grinding It Out
And Then One Day #9: Page 14 (Elephant Eater): Panel 1: This first panel is a glorious half page shot, and you don’t really see many vertical half page shots in comics anymore, typically if an artist goes for a half page shot, it’s going to be horizontal, so I appreciated the rarity of this panel right from the start. From a technical perspective, I like the camera placement and the bird’s eye view it allows of the environment. It’s another of these really grand shots that Ryan has been lavishing on us over the last couple of pages. Surprisingly I don’t have a lot to say. It’s like eating lobster, yup, it’s buttery, delicate, and delicious. What’d you expect? What more do you want from me? The panel is full of depth, texture, and energy.
Panel 2: This is probably the panel that’s come the closest to achieving a three dimensional effect as it lays flat on the page. The line weight around Dr. Polkinhorn and Ryan is so thick and we’re at such an equal eye to eye level with the characters that they practically jump out of the panel. Maybe it’s just my computer screen, but it’s almost as if the background, especially toward the upper left, is slightly fuzzy and blurry, giving that sense of motion, that the characters are jumping from their two dimensional confines. I really like this angle and the scale of the figures, which seems to be another one that’s new… it’s not the “regular” Ryan size that we see in the final two panels, and it’s not the smaller scale we see in the first panel, but somewhere in between.
Panel 3 & 4: It seems I’m always trying to reconcile these panels with the diamond pattern background (my description, not Ryan’s), which we haven’t seen for a while. I don’t mind this background or these panels in a vacuum, but when they come right after a long sequence of amazing panels, it’s difficult to like them as much! They’re fairly plain, but I do like the way that Ryan frames them on the page, how the character placement bounces from right to left as they converse back and forth with each other. It’s a well played layout that tricks us into believing that they’re facing each other even though they occupy different panels. It seems like this conversation is winding down, but I know we’re a little more than half way through the book, so I’m really curious to see what happens next!