jump 1

And here we go!

On the Verge - the Jumper #37

I mentioned last week that I really wanted to start dissecting the upcoming pages and give you readers a bit of a behind-the-scenes look at what went into them. There’s a lot I want to cover so I’ll break it up and do a little bit every week. For now I want to tackle the overall direction and philosophy of the pages.

So what the heck’s going on?
I realized shortly after finishing up Part 1 that it might be an interesting contrast to continue the story and explore what happens inside Michael’s “jump” (when he teleports). After a little bit of noodling this over, I realize that I could actually do the type of pages that I had in mind when I started On the Verge.

So why didn’t I just do pages like this from the start?
Well, that’s a good question, now isn’t it. I don’t know really. Looking back, I suppose I could have just jumped (no pun intended) into writing and drawing pages that don’t necessarily conform with “standard” comic pages. I guess I feared that it would turn people off if it was too extreme right away. I’ve always thought it might be interesting to contrast the rigid grid system that I’ve used so far on virtually all the pages that I’ve posted with something more open and free flowing. I wondered how this would affect the storytelling and it gave me a reason to do the open, free flowing pages versus just winging it right from the start. Plus, I knew that I really wanted to do something more illustrative but I wasn’t sure just how a couple of years ago.

Overall, my goal from the start has been to really try to unify my illustration background with what I do day-to-day (i.e. design). So how can I bring design to a comic page? How does this affect the layout? How does this affect the storytelling? All of these thoughts were swirling around in my head as I sat down to construct Part 2 and formed the underlying philosophy that’s resulted in the story that’s now being published here and resulted in certain decisions like wanting to approach the pages as spreads because that gave me more real estate to work with. I then decided that everything in this “jumping” state needed to be different from the outside world but exactly the same. How did I accomplish this? Through adjusting the page layout, colouring, writing, lettering and drawing styles. I’ll expand further on each of these in the coming week’s posts.

*****

Oh, hey! Those pages look familiar…
If you’re following along via Twitter you might have noticed that I’ve got my act back together and am back to drawing on my lunch breaks. While this does seem to limit my actual “mental break” time (and I’m sure I’ll have a mental break sooner or later!), it does mean that I’m ploughing through pages at a pretty good clip. Anyway, if you recall my earlier post about what to expect in 2013, I mentioned that I’m focusing on the main On the Verge story. Part of that focus has been to really take a look at everything I’ve done with On the Verge so far – and I mean all the various stories – and figure out how those all tie together and what’s the best way to start fitting them together. So yeah, some of those pages are familiar since I’ve got to update and rework a bunch of them in order for the story to actually read properly beginning-to-end.

You did what?
This past weekend I finally found some time to sit down and do a solid proof read of the first chunk of On the Verge story that I’ve put together. It was a really interesting read and I was surprised at how well the story actually holds together. I was worried that since I’ve written it over such a long period of time and in such fits and starts that it might make no sense. But the only thing that really need to be changed was adjusting the timeline and consistency of terms*.

Proofreading definitely made me think about the choices that I’ve made like: am I giving too much away? or is something explained enough? The benefit of working on something over such a long period is that you get to review these choices and I’m able to go back and add in a ton more detail to the story that I just didn’t have figured out even last year. Each little bit helps add another layer of detail and mystery that hopefully makes the story better. Plus I get to design more cool tech and who doesn’t love that?

All in all (and as I said on Twitter yesterday), proofreading has really left me wanting to get my ass in gear and get more pages done! And that’s good for everyone.

*Is it odd that I kept finding new ways to name and describe things? I guess that’s good, but when you read it all together it just gets confusing.

About jason

Illustrator and graphic designer. When not working full time as a Senior Graphic Designer, I am usually working on the graphic novel On the Verge: the Arrow of Time. Artist on Andrew Jackson in Space and The Sisters.

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