ANDY FISH is a comic book artist

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Friday, March 11, 2011


Fig 1
Staging refers to the placement of characters in your panel in relation to the viewer.  In Fig 1 we have a full shot of two characters who we'll call A&B.  Standing next to each other may seem a bit awkward but many films of the early 1930s were shot this way-- the camera equipment was so heavy and the difficulties in the new sound technology made movement nearly impossible.

Opting for this shot would be fine to establish your characters, the setting and the relations between them but you wouldn't want to have an entire story shot this way.

Fig 2
In Fig 2 we've simply moved character A closer to the camera-- giving the shot more impact.  From a storyteller's aspect this could suggest that A is unhappy with what B has told him, because he's turned his back on B-- or he could be in a moment of reflection, either way, it advances your storytelling by re-staging your characters.

Fig 3
In Fig 3 we tweak it further-- moving character A into an extreme closeup-- which allows your reader to get into the thoughts of the character.

Staging plays an important part in telling your story, to both move the action along and to let your reader know what your characters feel.

Monday: Scheduling yourself