Jun 20, 2012

Comics Techniques and Tricks: Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and Panel Transitions

Welcome to another edition of Comics Techniques and Tricks, in which we showcase techniques that only comics can do! Click here for the archive!

Pól Rua pointed me to this Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez–drawn page from BATMAN: KING TUT'S TOMB.

Look at the seamlessness of the panel flow. Garcia-Lopez manages to transition from one panel to the next with ease and that's because of the composition he uses. Note how the tree at the top left (and therefore where we would naturally start reading an American comic) leads our eyes into panel 2. The woman's leg and Batman's cape then lead our eyes into panel 3, where we see the cop chewing on a pencil that points to the right, which leads to the other woman. The other woman is looking back at Batman, the Riddler, and the first woman, so now our eyes are in the center of the page. We then take these visual cues from the conversation, and that leads us back to a straightforward storytelling tier of the final three panels.

In this manner, Garcia-Lopez manages to establish the location, the interior of the house, and all the people in the house while still making it look like a dynamic scene. Remember, it's just a conversation.

It's very subtle as well, and very understated. It does not overpower the story, because it serves the story. As Pól said to me, "It's like he knows what he's doing!"

1 comment:

Pól Rua said...

This is one of the great undiscovered Batman stories. Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez inked by Kevin Nowlan. It's the comic art equivalent of caramel ice cream, it's that delicious.

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