posted Aug.30.16 at 12:01 am

Enjoy a rare three-tiered Empowered page, folks, boasting three horizontal rows of panels. Most of the pages in the series are two-tiered, thanks to the “squatness” of the original art’s 8.5” X 11” format, as opposed to the “taller” 2 X 3—as in 10” X 15”, say—format used for most conventional comics. That’s the only real drawback of the Empowered format, I’ve found—that is, the fact that I have to draw the series on oddly dimensioned “letter-size” copy paper, which prevents me from regularly using three or more tiers on my pages. I would love to draw the originals with 2 X 3 proportions, but have never found an acceptable paper stock in legal or ledger size that I could cut down to those proportions. (In fact, that’s what I do when I’m sketching out roughs for regular-format comics pages in my mainstream work.) Alternatively, I could just trim down the sides of the 8.5” X 11” stock to enable a “taller” format, but I’m loath to lose any more space off the already teeny original size I use.

Panel 1: Odd and slightly distracting choice to have the roof of that automobile in the background just barely overlap the first word balloon. Draws the eye unnecessarily, given that I can’t see any obvious reason that the shape of the car needed to be uninterrupted.

Also, Emp’s arms are a bit too short in this panel, a common problem when trying to draw characters with arms tied behind their backs like this. The complicated anatomical “arm geometry” of such a pose can be surprisingly difficult at times, especially when one is drawing said poses without photoreference, as is the case with most of the “Damsel in Distress” sequences in Empowered. In theory, these “distress” poses would work better if I had bothered to dig up photoref, but I was invariably cranking out these pages as rapidly and heedlessly as possible, which made me feel like I didn’t have the time to dither around with searches for such pics. (Quite the justification for NSFW surfing, though: “Hey, I need the reference for my work, folks!”)

One more panel 1 bit: Note the diagonally oriented dimples on the backsides of both Treacherous Girl and Emp, which we now know are correctly referred to as the evocatively named “dimples of Venus,” if not the almost science-fictional “Venusian dimples.” (Cannot believe I spent the last 20-odd years incorrectly referring to these anatomical landmarks as “sacral dimples”; guess I’m learning something from these commentaries, too.)

-Adam Warren