Sunday, 13 January 2013

Storytelling In Comics

Will Eisner, Dave Sim & Archie Goodwin
North Carolina Comics Convention, July 1984
(from the 'Eisner Goodwin Sim' panel talk, Will Eisner's Quarterly #4, 1985)
I think it's largely an instinct sort of thing. I read a review sometime ago of a comic, discussing it from the standpoint of dancing, insofar as that if you're still going "One, two, three, step" then you haven't quite got it. If you've got it, you can watch somebody walking down the street and break the action into panels with the correct pacing for what you're trying to get across. It has to be practically second nature. It has to be the way you see things...

...Even more than describing it as storytelling, it's story involvement. It's not just to communicate a story to someone else, but to have them lose the context. It's like being at a good movie. After a while you forget you're watching a movie to the extent that you're involved. That's what makes for good storytelling. If I'm reading a comic book and gradually start reading faster and faster, I'll have to go back later to see how they did it. The best storytelling is involving enough that you don't stop and admire the technique as you're reading it. It moves you along.

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