COUNT DOWN! Only 12 days to go until the August 14th San Fernando Valley Comic Book Convention. I’ll be sitting all day at an Artist’s table, selling copies of my published work, original artwork and commissioned sketches. In an attempt to generate interest in my upcoming appearance I’ll be posting (over the next 12 days) scans of my original artwork for “All-Crime Comics #3, which was published by Art of Fiction Press in 2014. I’ll be posting my version of the color art alongside the black and white. The publisher decide not to use my coloring. If you want to see the published version, come visit my booth at The San Fernando Valley Comic Book Convention in Granada Hills, on August 14, 2016 and see for yourself.
These are pages 11 and 12 from the story, “Hat Trick”, the third installment in a story continuing from “All Crime Comics” #1 and #2.
On page 11, Tracy has gone AWOL from the gang’s skybox and is trying to buy a beer in the stadium food court (panels i, 2 and 3). She is spotted by 2 of Solniev’s goons, waiting in the same line (panels 3 and 4). They track with her as she exits in a huff, having been rebuffed for lacking ID.
On page 12, Tracy has entered a vendor section of the area, unaware that she is being tailed by Solniev’s men (panel 1) She tries on a head band, catching sight of the goons bearing down on her (panels 2 and 3). Marko rounds a corner, just in time to see the the goons grabbing Tracy (panel 4), and shoulders his way through a knot of people trying to get to Tracy.
These pages demonstrate one of my strategies in laying out a comics page: setting up an action in one panel, playing it out over however many panels/beats it requires, and beginning a new action in the final (or next to final) panel of the first action beat. Check it out: On page 11, panel 1, we start ACTION 1 (Tract tries to buy a beer). ACTION 2 (Thugs spot/follow Tracy ) begins in panel 3 as Tracy gets refused for lacking ID (ending ACTION 1). ACTION 2 continues through panels 4 and 5 and on to page 12, as Tracy approaches the vending stand, starting ACTION 3 (Tracy acquiring her head band, an important step in Tracy becoming the Mascot for HOUSE OF SECRETS, the comic book store in Burbank, California, USA where I buy my comics every week and the publisher (under the LLC DBA of Art of Fiction Press) of All Crime Comics #1 through #3). ACTION 4 (Thugs grab Tracy) starts in page 12, panel 3, plays out in panels 4 and 5. ACTION 5 (Marko see’s Tracy’s plight, tries to come to rescue) starts in the middle of ACTION 4, starts to play out in panel 5.
One of my primary influences, storytelling-wise in the director Michael Curtiz (Adventures of Robin Hood, Casablanca, Mildred Pierce). He was an exponent of Invisible Filmmaking, where the director eschewed calling attention to themselves, allowing primary attention to fall on the characters, plot, etc. One technique of “Invisible Filmmaking” is “Invisible cutting”, i.e, cutting from one scene to another on an action (“scene” is a technical term meaning a single piece of film, which, when edited together with other pieces of film, creates a “sequence”). I do this in every panel of pages 11 and 12. It creates a narrative flow which, hopefully, sucks the reader into the story, making it easy for them to read and comprehend.
In All Crime Comics #3, as published, we take a 10 page break for a flash back detailing how Solniev murdered Marko’s wife and daughter and Marko, in retaliation, burnt off half of Solniev’s face. It was drawn by Jeff Snow, whom I worked alongside on the first season of Batman for WB. Jeff has since moved into boarding for DreamWorks and Disney Feature. He boarded on “How to Train Your Dragon” as I recall.