Thursday, July 25, 2013

Action Part 10 - Visual Vocabulary of Graphic Novels and Comic Books

We've seen that action means quite a few things instead of just fighting.

Even if you character is sitting in a chair, they should not appear to be a lump of flesh. Sitting has personality! How they slump, slouch, sit properly or with exhaustion continues to tell their story.

Find ways to always have your character doing something.  In theater, it's called "business on the stage." The character can be scratching or picking their nose.

Extreme movement in your characters should over emphasize their attitudes and have exaggeration in the poses in order to make them seem to  move. 

Which brings us to a subject near and dear to me. Speed lines and radiating lines. When I started drawing comics I made a decision I wouldn't use those type of lines. I wanted to somehow use the environment to help indicate that. Papers or debris following the action. Or use the composition to indicate it. I was successful up to point. There were just some times that speed lines were the best thing to use!

As much as I don't like them, they still serve a purpose for the story. I use them sparingly. I don't use them as a crutch!. My figures don't depend on the speed lines to indicate movement. I try to use them to make direction clear more than anything else. I also use them to make a punch feel like it has more impact and power behind it.

Sorry to get personal this time around, I just wanted you to know how I feel about it. I'll try to keep it in check.

If you decide to use them, keep it simple! Too many can be distracting when used sloppily.

Speed lines give the illusion of motion to our immovable figures in the panel.

Radiating lines can indicate pain, vibration, chills and more.

to be continued...

read next - Action Part 11 - Visual Vocabulary of Graphic Novels and Comic Books
previous - Action Part 9a - Visual Vocabulary of Graphic Novels and Comic Books

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copyright 2013 H. Simpson

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