Robot 6

Strangeways: Murder Moon – Page 16

So, what’s on the menu tonight?  Ah, cowboys.  Excellent.

Written by Matt Maxwell.  Art by Luis Guragna.

Written by Matt Maxwell. Art by Luis Guragna.

Commentary after the jump.

Even on an action-oriented page, I can still make the artists draw five panels.  If I had a brain in my head, I could spread this out over two pages and maybe get a slice of the original art sales as well.  I know, I was just being a naive first-time writer and trying to get the story on the page.  But that and stupid determination will get you far.

And I’ll admit here that it doesn’t resemble cowboys and werewolves so much as it’s a scene out of THE HOWLING, only not as well-lit.  That’s still my yardstick for a scary werewolf movie and is the one I keep coming back to.  Yeah, THE HOWLING was as much tongue-in-cheek (thanks, Joe Dante) as it was a “serious” horror movie.  And nobody tries for serious as hard as I do.  Someday I’ll learn to relax.  Maybe.

Funny, the new thing is “Hey, Hollywood is just catching up to comics now, isn’t that great?”  But when I was writing MURDER MOON, I was just trying to nail the basics of storytelling and get something on the page that the artists could make sense of.  Hell, there’s days when I’d settle for the most boring six-panel page layout of mine to make a lick of sense and have any reader be able to pick up and have it work.  Sure, I want comics to deliver stuff that I can’t see anywhere else, but I also want to be able to wrest a story out of it all, y’know?

This leads back to writing fight/action scenes and how it’s tougher than it might appear.  And it’s also why my directions for such are pretty minimal at best.  I wanted to make sure that 1) Collins shoots the wolf, 2) It apparently has no affect, 3) Webster has to get bit by the wolf, 4) Collins smashes the butt of his shotgun on the critter’s head, having no time to reload.  All that stuff got on the page.  I don’t care much *how* it got on the page.  And yes, for my personal taste, Luis could have made this page less fussy, with larger shapes dominating the action.  But this is collaboration.  If I want to be a panel fascist, then I get to draw my own material (and all of you should thank your lucky stars that I learned to let go on that point.)

See you all Wednesday.

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