Storytelling 101m

Sunday, May 11th, 2008

First some good news. My friend, Mark Anderson, has his first book, “Rub My Tummy and It’s a Deal,” now available at Amazon. If you want to read some great gag cartoons, click right over and order a copy.

Mark's book

Now, as I have no book of my own to hawk, I’ll instead talk about today’s Zip and Li’l Bit comic:

Staging a scene in comics is one of the funnest, and maybe toughest things to do. In that respect, I’m proud of how this page turned out. This whole scene in front of the house, and this page in particular, was a tough one. The problem is that Willoughby is two stories up on the side of the house and Zip and Li’l Bit are down on the ground, so to show their conversation was a bit tricky.

The second panel affected how I handled all the rest of the panels on this page. I felt it was important to show what Willoughby is looking at when he realizes that Zip’s shadow is indeed missing. So, although Willoughby is the one speaking, I wanted the illustration to be one of Zip and the ground without his shadow. Because Willoughby isn’t shown in the second panel, even though he’s the one speaking, I thought he needed to be shown in the first panel to kind of clue everyone in that he’s the one speaking in the second panel. That led to me coming up with that kind of crazy perspective in panel one.

I wasn’t sure about forcing the perspective in that first panel that much. I didn’t really know if I could make it work, or if it would look too wacky and out of place, but I think it turned out all right.

7 Responses to “Storytelling 101m”

  1. Matthew Bernier Says:

    I thought this was some really bravado storytelling myself, and I’m very happy indeed that you explained how you arrived at it, because it’s such a great example of why before you start drawing a panel you need to know what needs to be seen and why. And you pulled off some tricky perspective without it looking wonky! Bravo!

  2. Schwa Says:

    That’s some good perspective.

  3. kelly Says:

    well done! & I’m glad to still see those paper airplanes :) I’m looking forward to day when you can plug a zip & lil’ bit book

  4. Maia Says:

    I think you handled the perspective very well Tyler! It doesn’t look weird actually it looks right in place. And yeah, the paper aeroplanes are still around! Awesomeness!

  5. Mike Lynch Says:

    >as I have no book of my own to hawk

    No book as of YET, my friend! I hope that this changes soon!!!

  6. Trade Says:

    Hey Everyone, thanks for the comments.

    Matt, good to hear from you. I’m way big on getting everything all thumbnailed out before I start drawing. It’s helped me get lots better as an artist too, because it’s easy to come up with ideas in stick figure form that I probably might not try to draw otherwise. Hey, when are you going to post again on your blog?

    Schwa, Kelly, Maia, thanks for the props on the perspective. I’m not sure if I’m getting better at it, but definitely getting more confident in what I attempt. And that Zip certainly had a big airplane collection, huh? I’ve been pretty good at keeping up on it. There have been only two pages that I forgot about it and had to go back once I’d inked up the artwork and put an airplane in there.

    Mike, … someday.

  7. Jason Stinson Says:

    Nice…I was just asking about last week’s word balloon placement :) . Glad to see some discussion was only a click away.