Sunday, May 22, 2011

Jake Parker - Panel Pacing

Jake listed the common sizes and panel numbers of American, European, and Asiatic comic books. I only recorded the American size, 10-1/2 x 6 inches.

Interestingly Jake instructed the class that the average reader will spend roughly the same amount of time on each panel, regardless of size. However, on can control the pacing of the read by number of panels. More panels will slow the reader, fewer panels will speed them up. Though size didn't determine time spent on them, the size did communicate the importance of the action being detailed.

Jake also talked regarding panel shape and orientation, noting an artist can communicate a greater sense of action by making an erratic shape, or stop motion completely by changing the orientation of the panel, book ending chapters as it were by opening and closing with either horizontal or vertical panels.

The amount of time spent on panels could also be sped up or slowed down by the amount of detail contained therein, increasing the visual detail should slow a reader down, getting them to spend more time on a greater amount of information.

Most interesting to me was the incorporation of word bubbles into the visual elements guiding the reader's eye through a page. I had always imagined the word bubble to be the constraint against which artists struggled, but Jake showed us an example from Hellboy: Third Wish where the bubbles were used, in addition to Mike Mignola's pencils, to lead the reader through the page.

Then I had to leave and you all got story advice from a working professional. Double jerks.

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