Preparing lunch

[vc_row 0=””][vc_column 0=””][vc_column_text 0=””]When you have characters in dialogue within a particular setting over, say, the course of a page of 3 x 3 panels it helps if you can give them something to do while they talk even if what they’re doing is not hugely significant to the narrative (obviously if you can layer other meaning and connotations on top of those actions all well and good).  This helps to strengthen the coherence of a sequence of panels (ie – the sense that the separate elements that make up a sequence hang together in an intelligible way to create a satisfying, unified whole).  Also, without some sort of action to hang the dialogue on, the artist is going to have to work harder to prevent the interactions appearing stilted and repetitive.  Actions will give the artist more to work with in terms of varying character posture, movement, focus and so forth across the panels.

A simple example occurs early in ‘Chapter 2 – Stefano, Marie and Giuseppe’ .  This is the first time these characters have put in an appearance (apart from Marie’s monologue) so the priority is to provide the audience with some information about them, about their relationship with Casanova and their relationships with each other.  To keep things moving, but in a way that doesn’t distract from the information being supplied, we’ve used the simple device of Marie unpacking and setting the kitchen table while the characters are allowed to interact informally and openly in a natural, everyday setting.  However, in this case, as it happens, it does allow us to layer a couple of other things on top.  Firstly, while Marie is being active, Stefano is dozing in the chair, suggesting his laziness.  His obesity and greed, evidenced by the amount of food he is taking with him when he leaves, also fits with the idea that the kitchen is his natural habitat unless disturbed.  Secondly, we associate kitchens with the domestic and with family life and one of the things we wanted to convey was the idea that Casanova, Marie, Stefano and Giuseppe have formed a makeshift family, albeit a somewhat dysfunctional one composed of individuals who are otherwise social outsiders.


‘Casanova in Paris: The Shadows of the King’ is now freely available here.

27 long form articles on Casanova’s life and times are freely available here.

#coherence #behindthescenes #storytelling #panel #sequence #graphicnovel[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]