Robot 6

Strangeways: Murder Moon – Page 08

Written by Matt Maxwell.  Art by Luis Guragna.

Written by Matt Maxwell. Art by Luis Guragna.

Commentary follows the jump

Interestingly, this is the first page that Luis drew, as part of a five-page tryout for the book several years ago.  I started with this sequence because it balanced between heavy atmosphere, characterization and some backgrounds/environments.  In other words, allowing a range of drawings and seeing if the story could be told on the page as it was more or less written.

If you’re ever in the position of having to evaluate artists for books that you’re writing, you’d be well advised to do the same.  Don’t trust a pinup.  Not to be snide, but anyone can draw a static drawing.  It can show off rendering skills, sure, but doesn’t really show off storytelling skills, which is the most important thing when it comes to drawing comics.  I mean, unless you’re putting together a whole book of pinups.  In that case, go nuts.  But it’s rare that a single page can or even tries to tell a story.  This would lead back to one of my pet peeves in comics (of which I have surprisingly few).  That being the “iconic” static shot of a character for the cover of your book.  Boy does that ever not sell your book.  Unless you’re putting Scott Campbell on the artwork or something.  Still, that won’t sell it to *me.*

So this page is something of a challenge in that it’s a pretty static setting.  How do you make that interesting (particularly when there’s a second page in the same setting following this one).  So I was curious to see how things would get laid out.  Granted it’s not the most exciting layout, but it’s not all six panels of the same thing over and over.  However, Luis conveyed Collins’ attempting to calm the passengers, the edginess of Mr. Chilton and the pained perseverance of Father Abbot.

Also note that that we’re not getting the werewolf shoved in our face right now.  We’re seeing it through the sound effects and the reactions of the characters, and I think pretty effectively so.  And here’s where I fess up in that I only did about seven pieces of effects lettering in all of MURDER MOON (most of which jump out with their amateurishness).  Have fun and see if you can spot the ones I did (and no, there’s none on this page.)

More on Friday.  See you all then.

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