Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Not Wrapped Tight_006

Taking a third look at NOT WRAPPED TIGHT. Which is to say, considering a third character as the lead. Perhaps too influenced by PARKER at the moment, but the tough guy male lead is well trod ground and easy to make work.

I have characters and back story...its how best to play it I ponder. Of course, I've ignored the project for a week, but time to get back to it tomorrow, I think.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Parker: the Hunter

I've been meaning to get to Darwyn Cooke's Parker books for a while now, and finally picked up the first one, The Hunter.

What a joy!

The story's good, but its based on solid material, so why not?

Of more interest for me was looking at Cooke's drawing, and his narrative techniques.

Cooke successfully transfers his cartoon/animation oriented drawing style to this hard-bitten crime story very successfully. The look recalls Eisner's The Spirit more than a little. He combines simplified rendering with a keen eye for detail as on the first page of Book Three. Its a single panel page showing a few items on a counter top. Cooke remembers to include wet rings from where glasses had been set. Nice touch.

The tones for the art are in blue, and maybe a bit too dark. Occasionally text is overprinted on the blue, and becomes a little hard to read. Part of what is nice about the way he approaches the tones is that they sometimes are captured by the black line work, and at other times are not... on occasion even becoming the lines, often for a woman's hair, giving a softer look. In another subtle usage, he draws the hinges for a door in the blue tone. Another example of a detail appropriately downplayed. It seems likely to me that he planned the tones right from the beginning, rather then coming back after to find spots to place them.

Narratively, Cooke blends dialogue, silent pantomime panels and lengthy narrative blocks to vary the texture of the story. Art can provide lots of information about setting and tone in a compact and dense way, but text can present activities, especially those designed to transition from scene to scene, in an equally compact manner.

Many writers want to "show" every bit of business in the panels and some of its just not worth showing. But combining these techniques a comic can be dense and compact, and not just something to flip through, done in a few minutes.

I recommend this for anyone who wants to see how a master cartoonist tells a story.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Newsarama Interview features DOUG

right here

The article itself is about web comics and digital delivery, but Archaia, and The Grave Doug Freshley feature prominently.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Not Wrapped Tight_005

I outlined the first chapter/story. Sixteen scenes intended for thirty pages. I left space for some of what I had written before, but mostly this was just about the action. The real story will take place in the narrative blocks. Not the dialogue really, although that should deliver some backstory, but the first person narrative of the lead character, Virgil DeBluer.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Not Wrapped Tight_004

I need to hold myself to some of the same standards I hold my writers to. Do I know what this story is about? Do I know the theme? Do I know what is to be learned in the story?

I am thinking to break my newly revamped premise into maybe 6 stories. They could be considered as chapters in the larger story,but each one should contain its own three act structure and its own theme and resolution.

STORY 001: Why does the nebbish bachelor Virgil DeBluer offer protection to the young and lovely Egyptian princess Irisi, despite knowing of her crimes? I think the answer is evident in the phrasing of the question.