Monday, September 15, 2014

Shade, the Changing Man - Ever After - Grant McLaughlin

This page is somewhat reliant on you knowing how Peter Milligan's run ended, in that its main visual is what that series ended on - Shade, Kathy George, and the door and stoop outside Kathy George's house.  Let's go with a classic 9 panel grid.

While the entire page takes place in the same location, the important thing to note is that there is a leap in time between each panel.  It should perhaps be subtle at first, but Kathy and Shade should be older in every panel - hair thinning, wrinkles emerging, postures stooping, and all that jazz.

1 - We're outside Kathy's door.  It's nighttime.  It's the same 3/4 angle from issue #70.  Heck, it can even be the same night.  Shade runs out from the door, covering his head as Kathy throws her diary out the door after him.

CAPTION (SHADE): Of course, nothing ever works out quite the way you plan it.

2 - On that same stoop, Shade and Kathy hold each other close, the diary in Shade's hands (as if he's picked it up).

CAPTION (SHADE): But we'd always pick up the pieces

3 - Kathy pushing Shade away, the diary falling from his grasp.

CAPTION (SHADE): Only for them to fall apart all over again

4 - Kathy stands in the doorway, looking down at Shade, who is sitting on his rump as if he's just landed.  Kathy's expression has softened and she puts out a hand to help Shade up.

CAPTION (SHADE): We kept going around in circles.

5 - Rotate the view slightly to look more directly at the doorway.  Shade knocks Kathy's hand away, and they being yelling at each other - you could even have those little sound lines to indicate the volume.

CAPTION (SHADE): It was maddening.

6 - Focus on Shade sitting alone on the stoop the diary beside him.  He is crying.  The panel should be angled so as to not be able to see the top of the closed doorway.

CAPTION (SHADE): I thought I could find the answer to fix everything, blind to the actual problem.

7 - Kathy has come back outside.  She stands behind Shade, her hand on his shoulder.  Shade has managed to stop his tears, although Kathy's expression is not visible as it is off-panel.

CAPTION (SHADE): I shouldn't be surprised that Kathy helped me see.

8 - Shade looks over his shoulder up towards Kathy, a hopeful look on his face.  We've changed angles again to have Shade facing the reader and to have Kathy with her back to them, her expression unseen.

CAPTION (SHADE): I'd done so much to find a place where I was content.

9 - Shade and Kathy sit together on the stoop.  Kathy places her head on Shade's shoulder as they hold hands, smiling.  Please remember that they have been aging the entire page and are now a pair of veritable geriatrics for this final panel.

CAPTION (SHADE): When I should have been looking for one where we both were.

1 comment:

  1. I must admit, I wasn't completely sold at the beginning of the page, but by the end I was completely won over. The passage of time, the "nothing ever changes" crawl of their relationship, tied up so neatly in Panels 8&9. Those last two panels are masterful. Well played, sir.


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