As I mentioned in my first post, discovery was a big part of the process of creating Issue One.  This page offers a glimpse of one aspect of that journey: How was I going to kick this story off?

As  originally thumbnailed, this page was a series of six panels of non-stop action.  I wanted that number because it mimicked the sense of quick cuts in a film.  I rendered the first few proxy images (I’ll talk about those in a later post,) laid them on the page…

…and I hated what I saw.

It wasn’t the layout that I didn’t like; it was the way the story was presented.  While I’m a huge fan of in medias res, I’m also aware that readers need to have some level of connection to the characters on the page. As originally planned, I’d given them a neat action sequence, but no real character.

That wasn’t right.

My choices, then, were as follows:

  1. Completely re-structure the first act
  2. Change the action to demonstrate character (or, as we like to say, “Show, Don’t Tell“)
  3. Alter the panel layout

In the end, I opted for a mix of all three.  I trimmed the action sequence to allow the “camera” to linger on the action in what would amount to a long, slow-mo John Woo-esque shot  while our narrator observed the action.  This allowed me to do three things:

  1. It gave our lead a voice
  2. It established tone
  3. It gave me a vehicle to offer bits of exposition

Was it the right solution?  Only the readers can decide that.  For me, however,  I liked the results far more than what I’d originally planned.

That and, honestly, I really like that last panel of action.  It just looks cool.