How a Page Is Born

February 23rd, 2012

Family Man layout sketches

This is a quick picture I took of one of the stages in the creation of a recent page of my graphic novel, Family Man (www.lutherlevy.com).

Since my script doesn’t always break out action or dialogue into specific panels within specific pages, each page is its own little puzzle; how much of it will make sense as a visual unit? What moments need their own panel, and which ones can be combined? What’s important, and what can I just suggest and move on from? And does character X really need to say three sentences when she can say one?

Unless the page is very simple, I’ll start out by drawing a big brain-dump like this on a piece of printer paper, covering ALL of the stuff I think might go into the page.

I break out chunks of action, experiment with facial expressions, poses, and angles, and just generally reassure myself that I’ve given everything a good dose of consideration.

On of my great hang-ups is the belief that somewhere in my brain is The Perfect Layout, and if I just keep trying and redoing and rearranging, I’ll eventually stumble across it. Imposing a period of playful experimentation like this helps shake me out of that notion.

You can see the finished version of this page here: www.lutherlevy.com/?p=1273
And some of the visual information was bumped onto the page following it: www.lutherlevy.com/?p=1276


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