And THAT is how you make a comic book page…
Douglas Paszkiewicz is a veteran of the comic book industry, having done work for Image comics, Mad magazine, Topps Mars Attacks, and is best known for his self published, Eisner Award Nominated, Harvey Award Nominated, Comicdon (Europe) Award nominated, dark humor , cult favorite Arsenic Lullaby. Outside of comics he is a writer for Comedy Central’s TRIP TANK. In short..he knows a thing or two…here’s what he has to say today.
Since me just plugging the book for the remaining week is probably tiresome, I’ll add some insight to this weeks blog/plug. I’m going to give you a bit of a breakdown on how a page like this ( below) goes from a notion in my head…to a fully functional comic book page. Note that this is page one of a two page story…believe it or not there is more and it gets better…
This one was a case of me really making something harder than it needed to be. that last panel is the whole joke, and pretty hard to screw up when it comes right down to it. Somewhere between that idea and the final illustration I decided this needed to be the best thing I ever did…that’s bad. That’s when you stop trusting your instincts and reworking everything…usually just to go back to the first draft you had.
The crux of this joke is the glorious feast the vampire thinks he has set himself up for and the pathetic reality. So him seeming creepy and dangerous and whatnot, the reaction to what is really there, and then him lowering himself to sucking the distended belly of some poor starving Ethiopian is the kicker. Above all else the writing and pictures all need to advance those concepts. That’s the mood elements that are important. The nuts and bolts needed are a pic showing how he got there, A pic showing the room/hut. A pic of how malnourished the victim is and of course the final scene. . The second panel, believe it or not, was the easiest. It just fell out of my head. Panels 5-7 …well, there’s a lot of different ways to do that, I probably could have just done it in one shot, but I reasoned that three panels would slow the pace and drive home what a disappointment this is. I can’t really explain why I put int panel 9…I just liked the close up leaving the reader to wonder what exactly he’s thinking…I might change up the expression if I can decide if he should look like he’s got a brilliant idea or embarrassed/ashamed. I dunno…it’s probably as good as good is getting.
Okay then, now that I have taken all the magic and romance out of THIS page…be sure to tell your comic book store to order your copy of Arsenic Lullaby “The Devil’s Only Friend”…and it has a FREE PDF of the last issue , just to remind you how diabolically good this series is.
This link has info on how to do that. If you are already familiar with how the stores order books and Previews Catalog this link here is still helpful.
ops…almost forgot this one, in case you like to see specific progression