A post from my old Marvel blog concerning a series of classes given to the editors of that period by Klaus Janson.
April 28, 2007 | 1:00 AM | By Tom_Brevoort | In General
Yesterday began another cycle of Editor Classes here at Marvel, presided over by Klaus Janson, in which the editorial staff at Marvel studies the tenants of comic book storytelling in an attempt to increase our knowledge and ability. It’s an outgrowth of the classes that Klaus regularly teaches at the School of Visual Arts, and even for those of us who’ve been through them before, it’s a good brush-up on several important concepts crucial to effective comic book storytelling.
At one point, Klaus, the editors, and special guest Walt Simonson, were speaking about the relationship between words and images in comics, and it was postulated that, if you removed the words from a comic book page and just left the images, what you’d have would still be comics, but if you removed the pictures but left the words, you wouldn’t. In an attempt to disprove this theory, I quickly drew the attached six-panel comic strip using nothing but copy, to see if I could achieve a sequence that contained no images but still effectively told a story. I did a more final version that I presented to Klaus in which I cleaned up some of the storytelling weaknesses in this rough (some of the balloon placement could be more effective), but I thought I’d share it nonetheless, as it was an interesting exercise.
One thought on “Blah Blah Blog – Editor School”
Plus, of course, there are those ALPHA FLIGHT pages by John Byrne.
I’d argue that this disproves what most people are thinking when they say that if you take the art away, it’s not comics — but at the same time I’d argue that this is not “just the words” or “nothing but copy.” They’re word balloons in panel shapes; their size, placement and interaction with one another are, combined with the actual words, what tells the story. They’re abstract images, but still images. They’re not rendered illustration, but they are visual storytelling, using graphics to tell the story effectively.
If you did reduce them to just words, you’d have a prose story.
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