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February 22, 2013

Boiling spacetime

Time in comics is completely elastic.

Dialogue can slow down the experiencing of a page. (Frank Miller once said, possibly in Eisner/Miller, that when he wants to slow the reader down he just starts the characters talking.) But your control of time begins with panelling and space.

Japanese comics read very fast because they have very few panels a page and those panels generally contain little visual information. Occidental comics are often too dense for the Japanese to enjoy. (I was told the same thing by my handlers when I was writing outlines for Japanese animated series.) There’s a thing I love in manga, though: every now and then, you’ll find a panel knocked out to bleed at (say) top, left and right. Leaving the framework of gutter and margins. And it creates a complete stillness, a frozen moment that you live in for a little longer.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at February 22, 2013 10:24 AM