Scott Allie on storytelling

Dark Horse editor Scott Allie has a great post on his blog about storytelling (and the lack thereof) in comics. Here he gives an example of a simple conversation scene that is rendered less subtle and less interesting by the artist’s poor choices:

“In another story, negative space and closeups have become so much a part of the composition that specific actions—simple things, like a character picking up a drink (which he later hurls to the ground), or the fact that the characters are sitting together at a table, are lost because we’re so close on the characters that the table only shows up as a thick line across the bottom panel border, if at all, and the drink disappears for an entire page at a time because we’re too close to see anyone’s hands—even though the very succinct panel descriptions say things like, He gestures with his glass, or He leans across the table. The scene is not about the table—but the table provides important context that makes the scene make visual sense. If the panel description is that short, and the table was important enough to mention, it’s probably worth putting the table in the panel.”

There’s also a good Alan Moore anecdote from his days at Wildstorm.