Keeping in mind the criticisms I outlined in my last post I deviated from the script briefly to make the page you see above.
First and foremost I wanted to demonstrate some of the experimentation and noir stylings I promised in the planning stages. Scenes like this will feature more later in story but I felt that after the last module’s feedback providing an example of my intentions would be a good idea. There are other more substantial reasons for this addition aswell; I formerly spoke of a concern that introducing more heavily stylised elements later might seem jarring, appearing to be a complete change in style rather than a natural progression. Ideally this page will sooth the issue, easing such features in rather than snapping over at the drop of a hat.
In terms of narrative this also addresses a few minor concerns. Besides breaking up the scenes with Curt and providing a momentary change of pace, it also brings Scratch back to the reader’s attention after a short rather than long absence. The page is intended as a reminder she’s also on the way to the same spaceport for an as yet unknown purpose. Much like the stylistic elements it’s all foreshadowing for what’s to come.
As my research would suggest I borrowed art ideas from 100 bullets and Sin City most prominently here, taking a creative risk and using techniques I’m not so sure-footed with, eschewing detail in favour of stark light and shadow compositions. I wouldn’t say the lighting is exactly realistic, but it does remain plausible thanks to the tight alley – providing just enough credibility for heavy shadows in an artificially lit setting. Originally I’d planned to highlight more of Scratch’s face, but opted for an almost complete blackout as thematically it seemed more appropriate; with her motives as yet undetermined shadowing her features projects a disturbing sense of ambiguous menace, the only discernible parts being her prosthetic implants/replacements and a pair of determined eyes. Determination for what remaining to be seen.
While I’m happy with the overall impression the page gives I do have a few minor issues with it all the same. The figures themselves turned out pretty nicely but it feels as though too much space is wasted on the right side of the composition. Given the diagonal direction of the light it makes sense that the wall would be blacked out, but all the same if feels like more could have been done with that general area. I flipped parts of the panel layout and toyed with the idea of putting text bubbles in to the fill the space but ultimately there’s not much I can do to fix it. It does give the page a sort of stark intensity which I like but in future I should be more mindful of how I use the space.
Minor faults aside hopefully the page doesn’t do anything to upset the pacing of the main narrative and enriches rather than weakens the overall reading experience. I’ve got some way to go nailing down the exact style but at least now I’ve made a genuine stab at it.