This has been one heck of a week and it’s only Wednesday!
Yesterday I talked about finishing up my short spy comic COMPROMISED, but today I bring word that I’ve also received the completed files form my 3-page comic IN THE DRINK which was brought to life by the wonderful Robyn Seale.
She had originally gotten in touch when I was seeking a collaborater for the aforementioned Spy comic, but she was moments behind the artist who ultimately brought it to life. After checking out her art and her webcomic, The Watcher of Yaathagggu, I knew that she was someone that I needed to work with. One of the things that jumped out at me while reading “The Watcher” was her storytelling ability.
In my opinion, with comics, storytelling ability is the number one skill that an artist can have. If a page looks like a bunch of disjointed, inconsistent and unconnected pictures, the reader falls out of the story. As a writer, I like to gauge the storytelling ability of my collaborators by asking myself one major question: “can I delete all of the dialogue here and have the story still make sense?”
I feel like the biggest compliment that I can pay and artist is to delete all of my silly words and let the image speak for itself whether it’s an action, an emotion or a sequence of events.
I gave Robyn an interesting challenge because the story that I had written was already completely silent. No pressure, right? The story takes place completely underwater and last time I checked, no one can hear me speak when I’m immersed in liquid. I considered the possibility of using captions to give an internal monologue to the main character, but this is one of those times where if the art could speak for itself, it would say more than my words or dialogue ever could.
In this tale, two characters share an interaction and Robyn used their body language and eyeballs to convey everything that needed to be said. At just three pages, the story is a very quick read, but when I shared it with my best friend, who gets to read all of my comics and tear them apart in a constructive manner, he told me that the comic was “chilling.”
Now that’s what I’m talking about.
The commitment to this project caused Robyn to miss deadlines on her webcomic, and while I feel completely terrible about that, she’s produced some of her best work to date and I really can’t wait for everyone to be able to check it out.
This one will be released in the Survival Anthology from GrayHaven Comics in April of 2014.
Good things come to those who wait.
Quick! Distract them with art!