Volume 2 Page 28
Posted July 13, 2016 at 12:01 am

Panel 1: Bad call on 2006-ish Me’s part to slap those wide, white-filled “overlay speed lines” over the outward-bound cinderblocks. In fact, those types of lines are what an artist would normally use to convey movement in the opposite direction, away from the camera. A puzzling choice, which I really can’t explain.


For a further primer on rudimentary speedline use, here's a page I drew almost exactly 20 years ago for a Wizard magazine how-to primer on “Big Eyes and Speedlines”:

Panel 2: Gotta love a cringeworthy “cinderblock to the groin” action shot! Y’know, I’m not really sure why we don’t see more below-the-belt shots in superhero comics, given that unscrupulous bad guys, wide and Kirby-esque “power stances,” an utter lack of footwork and the sheer martial-arts incompetence of most cape fights are practically begging for such underhanded ploys. Or would that spoil the grim, po-faced—ahem—“dignity” of today’s crappy supra-slugfests?

In panel 4, behold the action-oriented comic artist’s dearest friend: the billowing dust cloud, which helpfully but unobstrusively obscures background detail—and, importantly, saves you from having to wrestle with further perspective drawing, which is a far more critical issue for the time-strapped artist than mere detail work as such. Best of all, dust clouds never look like a deliberate, work-saving “cheat,” given that they certainly would be churning and swirling about in a context like this. I should further add that dust-cloud rendering can be artful in and of itself; shout-out to my main mangaka Tetsuro Ueyama (Tengu Girl, Solevision Mitsuyoshi), whose oddly beautiful and textured clouds in his old manga Metal Guardian Faust have long been an inspiration to me—though I should hasten to add that my dust depiction on this page is actually not very Ueyama-ish, as I didn’t start riffing off that part of his work until later on in Empowered.

 -Adam Warren

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