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Writing succinct action sequences:
I'm in the process of writing a webcomic in the vein of How I Killed Your Master (continuing plot, NOT gag a day, etc). There's a problem, though: Due to Webcomic Time, doing any reasonably long action sequence would take about a month of real time. I'm looking for tips on how I can keep the shootouts without running up against this wall.
listenWell, number one- have fights take the span of a single strip. Pace them quickly without using huge panels for every action. Do not look to manga for examples, as the slow pace of manga is a big reason for the episodes-long fights in their anime adaptations. Instead, head to the bookstore and look at a few fight scenes in them. The main thing behind Webcomic Time has to do with the author/illustrator wanting to show other stuff happening at the same time. So the way to avoid strips-long fights is to resist the urge to do that. Or do longer strips.
The way I have it worked out, I'd need to do 11 panels per page over 3 pages just to get everything that needs to happen in there at all, never mind preserving the flow of the comic. It's also not strip based - we're talking a full page, every week.
listenUh... stay away from talking in mid-battle. Keep it down to, like, two panels. Like, "You're good." "I know." *FIGHT!* And I think I meant to say go look at American comics. Frank Miller's run of Daredevil is a good example. In the second chapter, Matthew Murdock is bothered by a group of thugs, and he kicks all their asses in the span of about ten panels. Part of this may have to do with how Miller didn't show every last action in favor of letting the reader's brain fill in the gaps.
Here's the thing - the sequences I have planned out are fairly elaborate. Not in a he-punches-he-punches-again-he-punches-again way, more like: -vans bust through the door of a warehouse -The people in the vans get out -They get pinned down by gunfire -One of them makes a break for cover /page -2 guards come up along a row of shelves in the warehouse -Our guy shoots them, killing one and wounding the other -The survivor recognizes him -He shoots the survivor -He finds a weapons cache /page -Cut back to the rest of his team, who's almost out of ammo -Our guy flanks the guards and takes most of them out from behind -This buys time for the rest of his team to get to better cover and start moving forward -They kill all the guards -They find the weapons -They leave /page I'm trying to cut it down to 2 pages, but I don't see how that's possible without skipping over too much to be able to figure out what's going on.
listenAren't webcomic pages basically an image? Maybe your pages aren't big enough. What's stopping you from varying page size, playing with panel size, or even posting more than one page at a time?
I'm trying to keep a standardized page size in the unlikely event that I ever decide to collect everything together and publish it. As for time, that depends entirely on how fast the artist (different guy) can work.
edited 15th Mar '11 11:57:40 AM by FrustratedRocka
listenSome other guy's doing it? Oh. Then see what he would prefer to do- vary panel size, or make more than one page. It's up to him, then.
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