My second story for the next 11 O Clock Anthology has been taking up a lot of time and energy. Later tonight I will be working on my fourth layout for the two pages. This has happened for several reasons, but hopefully I'm doing it because it makes the comic better.
The first layout was based on my initial script which had too much to adequately portray. I had kidnappings, gigantic rays, city runs in jet planes, and more all crammed into two pages. It was just way, way too much. Showing the first layout to Timothy affirmed my suspicions. He gave me some pointers on what he'd like to see in the plot and I took a lot of his ideas for simplifying the narrative.
Layout 2 takes place completely in space. There are was no more going down to the planets surface. This gave me a lot more room to work in a more effective chase sequence and added a tiny personal moment torwards the end of the strip. This was a great rewrite, the pacing feels right now and it has a touch of heart. Not gut wrenchingly emotional, but at least now there is a character moment. I had initially been so concerned with high action and big ideas that I'd forgotten the characters in my story. All stories depend on character development, I can't let character design supercede that.
The third layout was less of a change, and I think that more dramatic edits should happen in your earlier reiterations. The messy action scene at the bottom of page 2 has been simplified into a single dramatic shot. I don't think it will be that shot and framing specifically, but one good image is stronger than a sequence of mediocre ones. The top image on page one is closer to what I want (again eliminating the multi sequence in a single panel). I think I still want to pull the action in closer for tonights layout. I'm also happier with the introduction panel of the space monster in layout 2 than the third one. Just better composition really.
I think editting more in each step of the process is good, but we're halfway through the month and I've got nothing on an actual comic page for this two pager. I don't know if I'm going to get this one completed in November. Thankfully December gives me a lot of free time to work on the third and final entry into the anthology.
- Jon O