Definitely not thrilled with Decade-Ago Me’s decision to roll with nothing but close-up shots for this page, clearly so I’d have more space to cram all the dialogue into. Ughh.
Still, I stand behind the mini-scene of silent panel 1 and blurting Emp in panel 2, which holds up well—if not for the Big Pouty Lips on panel 1 Emp, a stylistic riff which hasn’t held up quite as well. Silent reaction shots like panel 1 are a very, very useful tool for conversation scenes—though, come to think of it, I might’ve made panels 1 and 2 smaller, to claw free more room and allow more flexibility for handling the dialogue barrage of panels 4 and 5.
Panel 4: I might’ve been able to get away with this panel’s word balloon assault if—mind you, if—panel 5 weren’t considerably worse in the text department. Using the wee head shots was a bad call, though. A better approach might’ve been to have the camera inside the vat with the blorpp-ing alien organs, so we could look out to see full-figure shots of Spooky and Emp in the background.
Panel 5: Sound the Overdialoguing Alarm! I absolutely needed to break this key moment up into more panels and disperse its dialogue into the next page.
I should also mention another temptation driving this volume’s unfortunate dialogue onslaught, beyond not wanting to burn pagecount on less text-heavy panels. See, because I hand-letter directly on Empowered original pages, mo’ dialogue means a page that’s faster—here, much faster—to draw. I can guarantee you that scripting and lettering this page took longer than drawing it, given the lack of backgrounds or figure shots. The only time in the modern era that I’ve written and drawn three Empowered pages in one workday happened during a key Sistah Spooky scene in vol. 6, which—go figure!—was heavy on the ol’ dialogue.