Volume 4 Page 59
Posted March 8, 2018 at 12:01 am

Panel 1: Ah, behold, one of my perennial favorite shortcuts to compactly and quickly get across a fair bit of action in very little space: kick the action off-panel and convey it solely by word balloons and sound FX! Cheap but effective, and oh-so-space-saving; otherwise, the act of the bad guy tearing off Emp’s suit and restraining her with it would’ve taken most of a page, if not more. (I can’t imagine that “damsel in distress” aficionados would be thrilled by this omission, though.) Of course, this technique also slathers a heap o’ text onto a page already a bit heavy on the dialogue, so use with caution, fellow comics creators folks.

On a tangential note, those jagged word balloons from the off-panel Emp and Crow-Themed Guy (real “supranym” to be revealed tomorrow) are my personal preference for so-called “burst balloons,” which is the comics lettering term for the visual representation of loudly yelling or screaming characters. The more conventional approach to “burst balloons” is to make them spiky like unto a sea anemone, but A) I find those g-d spikes take up waaaay too much space on the page; and B) those “anemone” balloons are much too time-consuming to produce. I bring this up because I’m not sure that normal-human comics readers are privy to all the more abstruse terms we use in comics creation. 

(Let us not speak of the godless heathens who use the term “speech bubble” instead. Suffice it to say that all—and I do mean all—of the professional comics letterers who inspired me as a youth used the term “word balloon,” so I give these true experts the last word on lettering terminology.)

Panels 2 and 4: Overdialoguing Alert, here. Needed to dial things back a bit, especially in panel 2. Too much text, yo, even if I do still find it to be fairly amusing text.

-Adam Warren

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