comicocisty pt. 2 – Thumbnailin’
With the script completed, it’s now time to move onto the thumbnailing. I might map out a few scenes on the actual script, and then I’ll transer that over to what you see here, a grid of post-it-notes, each little grouping of two represents the two facing pages of the comic that the reader will see. It’s important to be keep in mind the pacing of the comic at this point, and your total page count – i have around thirty-six pages mapped out at this point. Not all of the pages are shown here, as I started working in this method after getting half-way through the first issue.
The main purpose of this stage is to see how the whole story will work out, the panels will likely change when get around to looking at the invidual pages.
Working on post-it-notes allows me to shuffle pages around as I see fit, and it also allows me to transfer these smalls thumbs unto a fresh page when I move on to the next step…
Our cute little thumbnail is tucked away in the top corner, serving as the blue(pink?) print for a more developed version of the scene.
Here we have Spec’s, who is the ‘i.t. guy’ for the whole of Dot City (where our story takes place). A black out has occured he is summoned to the mayors office, where he finds out it is his responsibility to discover the reason for the power outtage. The mayor goes on describing the importance of a smooth running city, as the reader views Dot City blacked out.
The last page in this scene ends with him taking the mail-chute like tube to go down to his computer lab. The following page continues, exploring the twisting, turning tubes, and then finally arriving at his lab, where he is greeted by his mechanical friend, the Navibot.
Having Spec’s enter the tube and then flipping the page to see the wild ride is a decent example of what I had described previously as ‘the all mighty page turn’. The guys were really keen on the importance of pacing out your information, leaving a surprise or an expanded idea on the flipped page. It’s just one of the ways you can control and direct the readers attention.
I should also point out that the rest of the space on these example pages explore different postures or architecture for the panels. You can see that I tried a few different looks for the city, doing a bit of reference and mixing and matching, in order to get the right feel for Dot-City.
Oh yeah, and at this stage, I also start to consider the balance of the page, the blacks, making shapes out of the city in silhoutte or the darkness of Spec’s lab.
Thats more or less it for the thumbnail stage. Much like the writing process, the more you revise the better it’ll be. Taking the time to make sure the composistion and flow is tight will make less problems when you get to doing the pencils proper.