Posted May 20, 2022 at 12:01 am

While I'm not generally a fan of rigidly formatted grid-based comics layouts as such, they definitely have their uses, especially for crafting high-density pages that cover a whole bunch of points. Note that, while my work is largely manga-inspired, I have no compunction whatsoever about using Western-style grid layouts, which tend to be wholly alien to mangaka.

Case in point being Komi Can't Communicate, a manga almost entirely based on "stack" layouts of four panoramic panels per page; on the very rare occasions that Tomohito Oda goes one step further and uses a true side-by-side grid layout, he can't quite decide which way the grid should read, and tacks on arrows to help guide the reader's eye, which is a major no-no in comics storytelling (as reinforced to me by Joe Kubert himself back in my K-School days). In fact, Oda features multiple examples of grid layout that read differently—sometimes, you're supposed to read the grid in a Western-style Z pattern, and sometimes vertically. (Gotta admit, after all these years, this was the first time I was really struck by just how unusual the grid approach was to the manga storytelling idiom.)

Today’s Patreon update: In an attempt to scratch out more worktime to complete the long-gestating Empowered vol. 12, I've switched over to a Monday/ Wednesday/ Friday Patreon posting schedule that won't feature the fixed content format I previously used. So, who knows what today's post might feature? Could be Life Drawing or Distressed Damsels content (both of which are featured at least three times per month), or something in the Work Stages, Vintage Con Sketches or Design departments, or possibly something entirely new. Golly!

-Adam Warren

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