Two pages in a week! A Spy6teen first!
Well gang, we’re moving into the conclusion of Volume one here. But we’ve still got two pages to go as a concluding beat– what could they be, I wonder?
I will say that this is “Exit Stage Left” for Cally in this Volume, and what a great image for her to go out on– for more on that, let’s move to:
On the last page, I linked out Webcomic Alliance’s article about working in a team environment, well this page in particular really showcases exactly how working as a team can bump a page up to the next level.
In the original script, this is how the page read:
Cally take off running, she looks happy– excited for her next mission, she’s rounded a corner of her Super-hero life, ready to accept her responsibilities with an understanding of her importance in the larger scheme of things.
In the mid-background, Blake stands totally confused.
In the far background we see Montauk High as the Firefighters and emergency crews finish up.
BLAKE: But– are we even having classes today?
And that’s it– as scripted, we would have gone out on that first panel– But, obviously, DJ had a much better idea, and one that gives Cally a iconic exit.
As soon as I saw the page, I grinned like a fool– of course we should go out on a big Cally image! That’s the benefit of working with an artist as talented as DJ– His storytelling chops are honed, and when he sees an opportunity to push the page, he will.
On top of it, he IS storytelling in this “bonus panel”– we see Cally “Happy– excited for her next mission”– with the added element of the Eiffel Tower, we know she’s in Paris for her next adventure, which fits in with the globetrotting element we’ve been working in for the past four issues.
This is one image that says multiple things– and is far more interesting than Firefighters and emergency crews cleaning stuff up…which would be an image we’ve already established in previous pages anyhow.
You’ll also note that, in the original script, Blake has the last line– Which, upon reflection, is a little silly. Editor DJ Kirkbride noticed that the Eiffel Tower panel looked a little odd without any copy, and suggested that we add a Cally response via a CAP. The line he suggested, “School’s out today” rings perfectly with the theme of Volume one.
When it came time for Colors, Lisa knew exactly what to do for the tone of that final panel. There’s this term that’s banded around Television writing: A “Blue Sky” show– it’s usually in reference to shows like Monk, White Collar, I guess Chuck fits in there…basically, where tonally, even at their worst moments, the show exists in a world of “Blue Skies”– nothing REALLY heavy is going to happen.
When Lisa came back with the colors for this page, that was my first thought: Cally is off on a Blue Sky adventure– which, after Issue 3, she’s earned.
Well gang, 2 pages to go in Volume 1. As those pages roll out (TBD in terms of scheduling, but I’ll try to group them as I did with these pages and do a 2 for 1 week hit), I’ll be reflecting back on the last 88 someodd pages, and waxing on a bit about the future of Spy6teen!
Heya gang! It’s been a bit!
Well, as I mentioned last update, we’re sort of moving at our own pace to round out these last few pages. A lot of the blame there squarely rests on my shoulders– If you remember back on Page 20, I announced that my wife was pregnant with twins– well, on November 4th, two new Spy6teen fans joined our ranks:
(and despite what DJ Kirkbride will tell you, Amelia was not named as a viral campaign for his comic, Amelia Cole)
So, to say the least, things have been pretty busy around the Simmons household, and unfortunately, Spy6teen took a bit of a hit in that regard.
That said, as I mentioned last update, we are committed to finishing off Vol.1, come hell or high water. What happens after that is still up in the air– but everyone on Team 16 certainly wants to further Cally’s adventures, we just have to figure out a working system that’ll allow us to do it. I’ll have some more thoughts on that as we roll into the final pages.
So, yeah– some may cry foul at how we’re glossing over Cally’s explanation– and using the “Mind Wipe” trope, but don’t forget, we are in the concluding pages of Volume one…so it’s not really the ideal point in the story to have Blake open up a whole new line of questioning.
It might feel a bit like a cop out– but the way I see it, Blake doesn’t completely buy this explanation either– but he’s willing to let it slide for the time being. (Probably on account of the memory wipe hangover)–You can rest assured, sometime down the road, Blake is going to start putting the events of last night into place.
One of the things we’d debated about early on was the idea of showing the clean-up crew and MIBs in a montage, and actually showing Blake’s memory being tampered with– but ultimately decided against it, since I’d prefer unveiling the MIB guys in a more dramatic fashion down the road.
SPYING ON THE NET
Working this way has both it’s advantages and disadvantages– but ultimately, I’ve always felt that the strengths of our team greatly outweigh any negatives. The fact that each member of Team 16 is Ninja Level in their respective discipline is obviously a major bonus, but as I’ve mentioned here a number of times, (for me) it’s those moments when one of the gang chimes in with a suggestion– or, in some artistic fashion additively creates something new on the page, that was never originally intended– I mean, THAT’S the stuff!
Comics are a collaborative art form…and truthfully, I just don’t think they’d be much fun to make if they weren’t!
Ok, we’ve got a stunner of a page coming up next– and I’m going to do my best to roll that out this week– keep an eye out tomorrow!
If you haven’t noticed, we’re sort of moving at our own pace for these last pages of Volume 1– sort of updating haphazardly. What can I say? That’s just pretty much going to be par for the course for the remainder of this arc.
That said, we aren’t flaking on finishing! It might be a little ramshackle in terms of getting to the finish line for these first 4 issues, but we’ll get there, I assure you.
So, we’re moving into the conclusion of this story arc, and we’ve slid into a new scene from last page’s epic fight.
This is one of those transitions that I think will work a lot better when we’re eventually collected into print and/or a digital reader– basically, anything with a “page turn”.
Process-wise, we started on the alarm clock shot to “snap” your attention and establish a time jump. It’s a bit of a cheap trick, and one that is commonly used, for the simple fact that it’s very effective.
This is a fun Blake page, and one that we can all relate to– I particularly think DJ’s “putting on the shoes” gag in Panel 3 is really great.
All said, not a lot to go over on this page, since it’s sort of a bridge-page to our next scene. It does occur to me that as we move past our climax, it does make sense to have a decompressed page like this.
SPYING ON THE NET
Over this weekend, a double-digit-thousand-someodd comic nerds are flooding the streets of NYC for New York Comic Con.
Even just today (Friday), news is already starting to pour out of the con– which is arguably as big as San Diego’s Comic Con in terms of announcements and hype.
Two of the announcements that caught my attention involved Comixology, which has become the leading platform for digital comics. The first is that Comixology have begun to roll out their creator distribution tools. This is something they’ve been promising for about two years now, and it looks like we’re finally on the cusp of seeing them open up their doors to indie creators.
Since its inception, Comixology has been a bit of a walled garden– Pretty much featuring only “indie” work by established companies like Dark Horse, IDW, and the like. It was actually a smart move on their behalf, considering they didn’t want their system flooded with amateur hour comics which might choke the ability of a digital customer finding the latest X-men comic…which, let’s face it, is their core audience.
Even now, Comixology is implementing a submission system, in which comics will be evaluated for quality. A number of people are crying foul at the thought of a submission requirement– but again, I get it. Comixology has a brand image they need to maintain, if they start letting in a bunch of stick figure comics that impede the ability of Joe Comic-Reader to find the latest issue of Batman…well, the whole thing crashes, doesn’t it?
Comixology just hit their 100,000,000 download this week. Considering that staggering number, I think getting on this platform is a massive step for all indie comic creators. If you’re interested in signing up/submitting, drop your name and email here.
The other cool Comixology news was the announcement of Comix4Kids, a new platform showcasing titles like Super Dinosaur, Teen Titans, Adventure Time, and more–
If you’ve been keeping up with the writeups and blogs on Spy6teen, you know I’ve been soapboxing this issue for quite some time now. Kudos to Comixology for opening up the door!
Lastly, geez, this is starting to turn into a Comixology commercial– if you happen to jump on there, make sure to grab a copy of Amelia Cole & the Unknown World by our own, DJ Kirkbride!
Amelia’s been getting some great reviews, with people saying things like:
Amelia Cole and the Unknown World creates an impressive first issue by doing both in a way that feels exciting and surprising.
exactly what I want to read from a comic.
So, head over to http://ameliacole.com/ and check out the first three issues! Not only will you get a great comic, but you’ll be supporting the writing efforts of one of Team6teen!
Ok, back…uhhh, soon…with our next page!