This is probably my favourite page in the Rocket Angels series so far. It's mostly due to panel 4 and 9 and the use of speed lines. No that's not quite right. It's mostly due to the what the speed lines represent. Wait, don't the speed lines represent – um – speed? Yes and no.
Yes: The speed lines attempt to represent the most prodigious increase in speed as our hero takes his fighter into a dive after the enemy. It's possible that I may have over did it in the last panel, but well losing control of your aircraft is not a la-de-da type moment. It was also late at night some time last month and I really didn't want to figure out what the cramped interior bits of the cockpit would look like from a worm's eye view. Enter the speed lines and not only was the panel done faster, but it actually felt pretty exciting.
No: Together with the bent propeller whirr in panel 4, the speed effect represents one of my few intuitive leaps into cartooning "abstraction" (for lack of a better word). It's like those shots of a cartoon car screaming down a curving road and the entire vehicle is depicted as being off the ground as it banks crazily into the turn.
This is a subtle, but probably important step here in my work. Often I delight in the details of what I'm drawing that I forget that what makes the page work may be more than just an accurate depiction. Perhaps just as significantly, it's one of the rare times where I don't feel as if I'm a cheap lazy hack by omitting the cockpit wire, bracing, levers, and mechanics of a vintage soviet fighter for a small portion of a small panel on a nine panel page.
Despite this being my favourite page so far in the comic I really had to drag this one in and took a break to do some other drawing (note: post that). However, that break did help as I'm now ready to go back to embellishing the thumbnails of the next and final page in the action sequence. Later!
Sunday, December 11, 2011 - 10:28 PM (Eastern Standard Time)
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