Ink, watercolor, gouache, tracing paper, free time

Composition Mission

In case you’ve missed it, comics nuts-and-bolts man Frank Santoro has been posting an intriguing series called “Layout Workbook” on the new Comics Journal website. I’d been bookmarking the posts as useful research stuff, but holding off to read them until I had time to play along with pencil and paper. Well, the most recent post analyzing a Tintin page finally got me off my duff. It was startling to see the hidden symmetry and lines of sight.

I’ve torn up a lot of my first attempt at Sweetened By-and-By, but had this test page lying around, and decided to mark it up as described by Santoro.

Ink, watercolor, gouache, tracing paper, free time

Weird. Looks like I got most of the action within the “dynamic” areas—the areas constrained by those two circles—and have some interesting tangents and alignments.

I like most of this page (though it’s going to be re-drawn again), but the fourth panel has always given me trouble (what’s shown here is a paste-down.) That panel’s not quite right somehow. Maybe these magic lines will help? I think that would be the real utility of this system – as a way of troubleshooting an existing composition.

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