onsdag 11 april 2012

Comics storytelling 16: Panels & distance, 2

More on distances. In this "Zits" strip, Jeremy looks to make a reaaaallllly long shot, and the distance from him to the hoop is emphasized in the same manner as in the "Mutts" Sunday page, by letting the distance stretch out all across the width of the strip.

By making the figures of Jeremy and Hector relatively small, perspective is used to further emphasize how far away from the hoop Jeremy is.

But – and to draw this back to the point I've been making repeatedly in this series – that's clever, but not even half the joke. The rest is supplied by Hector's nonchalant attitude.

Hector's relaxed body posture, bored facial expression, and the fact that he can't even be bothered to look when Jeremy makes his attempt – plus his dismissive comment, "If you make this shot, I'll have a heart attack" – all signal the impossible distance in a manner that's consonant with what the clever trick with the panel's length is telling us. The clever storytelling enhances the point, but without Borgman's & Scott's excellent artistic skills, the joke, resting just upon the panel-width trick, wouldn't be near as strong as it is.

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