-by John Coker
Well hello again. How was your week? Oh, mine was great, little hectic, but I’m good. Thanks for asking. Now let’s talk about panel 3, oh, and 4 while we’re at it.
Mr. Hissong writes in the script-
Closer in on Brick, still in the hospital bed. Eyes closed. The Wife is slapping his face, trying to wake him. There is chaos as items have fallen to the floor, etc.
I took a little liberty here, really wanted to strip it down. Jason and I have worked together before, he knows what I can do, he knows what I like to do, he writes to that for me, and he trusts my judgment/vision as an artist. And I trust him, the guy is a great collaborator, but he’s more than that, he’s a friend. So I know that I can tweak things and he’ll be fine with it, as long as I retain his vision and get across his intent as a storyteller.
I wanted the crux of this page, the overall focal point, to be what is called for in panel 4-
PANEL FOUR: Closer of Brick’s face. The Wife’s hand still on his face, to the side, cradling it. His eyes pop open.
The eyes. popping open. Brick awakening. THAT’S the shot. So I wanted two clean, bare bones, stripped down shots; Brick’s eyes closed… Brick’s eyes open. So everything else got stripped away. 99% of the time, I’m all about ‘show don’t tell.’ But here, instead of showing Brick’s wife trying to awake him, and showing things being askew from the event, I let Jason’s words tell those things, and let the images be all about the awakening- extreme close up of Brick’s face, eyes closed, nothing else to focus on. Next shot- exact same shot, now eyes open.
Then I add the greys-
I then draw Brick’s now open eyes separately-
Create a new layer, and then paste over Panel 3 to create Panel 4-
Now we have all four completed panels of Page One. I paste the four panels into the page-
All that’s left is the lettering. So I add in Jason’s awesome narration, and BOOM- finished page-
Now we have Page One, of DOCTOR BRICK BRAVERY: SPACEMAN in WORLD ENOUGH. Read the rest of the story in the upcoming science fiction volume of our anthology, THE GATHERING: THE FIFTH DIMENSION. January isn’t too far away, right…?