Burn?

Well, kind of a burn. The big struggle this week was Cally’s comeback line– It stumped me waaay back when I first scripted this page, eventually I hit the point where I just slugged her current line: “…I guess you mean that as a compliment” but I was never really happy with it.

And there it sat– as three issues slowly burned pages towards it.

Every week, Team 16 gets together for a quick production “meeting”– usually a quick little email session where we double check spelling/story points/layout/and any other potential issues that might plague us on a page. Generally we catch one or two small things, but (as you’ve seen) sometimes stuff gets passed all of us.

The weekly session also allows me, DJ Kirkbride, and Brant to do a quick edit/rewrite session– often times based off of being really mouthy in the script and Brant letting me know that I’ve gone way overboard with my word count (kidding!)–
I guess for Cally’s comeback line, I just popped it in the back of my head, figuring that I’d come up with something better by the time we got to this page.

…turns out, I didn’t.

There was a bit of a brain lock– or, it might just have been that I’ve lived with the line so long that it became the line.
Either way, I took it out to Team 16 and everyone threw some suggestions in the pot– turns out, we’re really bad at pretending we’re catty 16-year olds.

A lot of suggestions were thrown out, but nothing that felt like it had that spark that I was looking for– and just to clairfy, it’s not like I HATE the line– I just think it could have a little more…burn?

Which is why we’re holding the first ever REPLACE THAT LINE contest! If you think you’ve got a better zinger, let us know in the comments and we’ll replace the line with yours!
This is likely a one time thing– that’s just my little rule, otherwise I’m going to start putting up blank pages with a Replace all the lines contest and never bother writing again!

PROCESS!

Pretty standard 5 panel page here– Perhaps not the most action packed of our pages, but DJ still manages to put some energy into a scene with 4 people sitting in a car. It’s a lot harder than you think when you’re playing with the interior of a vehicle, as you can’t cheat out angles or distance.
I do particularly like Panel 1– where DJ is able to throw an even more bratty/catty look on Alyssa by angling her so she’s looking backwards.

DJ’s “beat” structure for this page is pretty interesting as well. Comic panels do have a rhythm, much like editing in film. In the case of this page, DJ goes from a tight panel on Alyssa, to a wider 2-shot of Sears and Cally. He continues to open up for the “anchor” of the page in Panel 3– giving us a wide establishing shot– before tighting up on the Dashboard.
So basically, he’s “moved” the camera outwards– each panel giving us a wider “view” of the scene, before “cutting” to a tight shot. From there, he’s able to pull back again for the closing shot of Don.

So again, although we aren’t in the most visually exciting scene of the book– DJ still puts in his best, giving us a rhythmic back and forth which keeps the page from looking flat and stagnant.

COLORS/LETTERS!

Lisa popped in some interesting visual flair on this page. I’ve often said that Lisa “lights” a scene with her colors– much in the same way a lighting director would on a film set. Here, she literally does so, by casting a car dome light in the scene and giving us a point of reference for shadows and highlights.

I’m always impressed by Lisa’s natural talent to understand exactly how light falls– which is clearly evident on this page. Track the light source (above all four characters) and you’ll see that it lines up every time.

Letters wise– I got a little kick out of noticing this in the linework this week:

In case you weren’t aware, most of the text SFX and Logos are done by Brant. Everything from Cally’s secret classroom number, to the MK Black etching in the base– that’s all Brant. It was just funny seeing DJ throw in a little message for him!

It was pretty much a smooth lettering page, although Brant did debut a new “look” in Don’s SUV bluetooth notification. Just a note, that’s what cars “sound” like in the Spy6teen U from here on out.

WRAP UP!

Relatively quick writeup this week. Still plugging away on Issue 4′s script and it looks like it might go a few pages long– naturally, that’s because we’re packing in a TON of cool stuff for you guys! It’s always funny being an issue or two ahead– I spend half the time wishing we were up to the next issue! Trust me, there’s some really awesome things to come!

If everything goes as planned, I should have an interesting experiment going on tomorrow– more on that as it develops. Even if the whole thing fails miserably, it’ll make for an interesting write up– and at the very least, force me to dust off Blog@16!

As always, you can help support Spy6teen with a quick click at the Top Web Comics link below:


Plugs wise, I’ll hold off on self-pimpage, and instead point those of you who are headed to the comic book store this week to pick up some of the new DC 52s to check out our pals at Bonnie Lass who have just released their print version via Red 5 comics!

I know there are a ton of high profile comics in the shop, but take a chance and pick one up from an up and coming indie–it’s the best way to inject some new blood into the mainstream!

Well, that’s a wrap on this week! I’ll pop on sometime later this week for a special “announcement/recap”– it’ll be…interesting, I think.

NEXT WEEK:

SPY TIME!