“Why this transition?” is something I find myself asking often when reading a comic. I was a casual reader until about nine years ago. I would pick up a trade from a library or a second hand store now and then but comics weren’t staples in my life.
When I started reading comics weekly they became more than entertainment. They became charts and maps to be studied. I saw how different artists and writers crafted their stories and guided us (the audience) to the ending they envisioned. Page and panel layouts, color schemes, font choices, every little detail added so much to the book.
I’ve been writing for about two years and as much as I enjoy reading scripts, examining thumbnails and fawning over the finished art I am still getting accustomed to having others interested in my scripts. When I was invited by Grant to contribute to Thought Balloons I was beyond excited. It was difficult to narrow down my theme for the week but I looked back over my notes on the scripts I’m currently mulling over and picked out what was troubling me.
“Why this transition?”
In writing my scripts I aim for short, compact stories. I cut down my scripts to the shortest page count possible without sacrificing story quality. This is mostly out of necessity as I do not have the budget to tell a sprawling epic story. Often transitions in comics are at the page turn. Get to the end of the current page spread, turn the page and new chapter, new setting. Transitions are useful when switching between characters or locations. They can be subtle, jarring, a pause in the story or a jump into the middle of the action. Once in a while there is a chase scene or montage that requires multiple settings in one page. When these scene jumps are executed well it creates a fast pace in the story that could otherwise meander.
I hope we can show the effectiveness of transitions in these next few scripts.
Thanks to Grant and the crew for letting me explore this current obsession.