Monday, November 25, 2013

Opening Contract - Moth City #2

This weeks Opening Contract marks a return to the expanding frontier of digital comics, this time in the form of Moth City Issue 2 by Tim Gibson (I’m using the ComiXology editions for those following along at home).

That said, I implore you to click through to the Moth City website and read the strip in its entirety. It’s truly excellent and blazes a trail few are following, showing us all what’s possible with this latest iteration of the comics medium.

In a previous column I discussed Alex De Campi’s Valentine. There, digital was used to broaden the concept of what constitutes a panel, using the swipeable/clickable screens of phones, tablets and computers to pan through a scene, establishing the sweep and scale of it. Each swipe/click revealed new information, giving us an idea of scope, slowing down the pace to ensure we took it in. With Moth City, Gibson plays with a similar toolset but employs them for a slightly different effect, as well as adding tools and tricks of his own.

The panel itself is a splash page and, like Valentine, is designed to be read in landscape orientation. The dominant aspect of the page is the sound effect of the gunshot (BLAM!!), the kerning and slight slant of the text subtly suggesting the speed and direction of the bullet. Beneath the SFX we see an image, the mystery assailant from the last issue clutching his objective, the flask, as the bullet tears through his shoulder, its path of flight suggested by the linework and colours.

The assailant occupies the far left of the screen with the middle occupied by the spray of blood, and the right being taken up by the remaining splatter and the sky beyond. On its own it looks fairly innocuous, but when you look at it again you can perhaps argue that the underlying image is split into three parts – assailant, spray, the sky. This, as we’ll see, is suggestive of what comes next.

As we swipe/click through to the next screen we once again see the same figure in the same pose, on the left hand side. The bullet is tearing through his shoulder as before, and the SFX is present too (albeit much smaller). To the right of this is a larger panel taking up the rest of the screen, showing us the assailant falling backwards off the balcony towards the ground below. When more swipes/clicks are made a series of three ascending vertical panels show the assailant’s fall from the tower into a handily placed canopy.

The first panel then gives us a taste of the next screen in two ways. Firstly, it shows us the image of the assailant beneath the SFX. It shows us the action that dominates the next screen but accentuates and heightens it with the SFX dominating the screen. The first panel suggests the feeling of being shot, the experience of the assailant himself.

Secondly, it segments the page into three parts, suggesting the motion of the bullet and its speed. The same effect is used on the next screen – the bullets impact, the assailant staggering backwards and his subsequent fall. The first panel is prologue, the next screen is set up, conflict and resolution.
The panel is also indicative of a tool that Gibson uses effectively throughout Moth City – the idea of layers and using them to withhold or parcel out information with the intention of a surprising reveal or shock.

In the subsequent chase sequence that follows the opening of this issue Gibson begins a new page with nothing but black and a single piece of SFX (DUN). Each successive click/swipe lays in another SFX element (DUN DUN) and another before the next swipe reveals an image ‘below’ the SFX of the wounded assailant running across the roof of a moving car. It’s a great piece of comics, suggesting sound and, with the introduction of the accompanying image, movement. It’s words and images working in perfect unison as comics always have but, by delaying the juxtaposition, Gibson heightens the moment. Later, in the same issue, a panel features two shining ovals in the dark before a swipe ‘turns on the lights’ and reveals them as a pair of glasses on a corpse.

The control over reveals such as this and the opening panel are a real advantage of this iteration of digital comics and one Gibson uses well. It’s why I feel genres such as action and horror are particularly ripe for this kind of comic. Tension, conflict, and good old fasioned scares can all be created using this technique.

In addition to this, the opening panel points out another area where digital comics perhaps have an advantage over their printed counterparts. Digital allows creators a greater degree of control over what elements of the story to bring to the attention of the reader. Each screen can begin with a splash before bringing in additional elements and panels to heighten the impact or focus of a specific image, action or piece of dialogue. Layers can be tweaked, removed and altered – focus, subtraction of elements, addition of text, changes in expression and so on.

As Scott McCloud said
“Pictures can induce strong feelings in the reader, but they also lack the specificity of words. Words, on the other hand, offer that specificity, but can lack the immediate emotional charge of pictures, relying instead on a gradual cumulative effect.”
Digital allows for the creator to control that cumulative effect more than ever before, something Moth City and this opening panel proves in spades.


Related Posts


13 comments:

Anonymous said...

You may uncover you've a particular flair in one area.
Shading is crucial to learning how to attract a portrait.
There's nothing more distracting than scratchy searching cross-hatching.


my web site; cartoon illustration free download

Anonymous said...

This kind of occasions you wish you could signal out of WhatsApp.
Just as there are advantages to cloud storage there are also drawbacks.
Now it is finally available for Android and iOS or Iphone users.


Have a look at my webpage; wechat pc için

Anonymous said...

Hi to all, the contents present at this website are in fact awesome for people knowledge, well, keep up the nice work fellows.


My web blog: colic calm ebay

Anonymous said...

whoah this weblog is wonderfful і гeally like studying ʏoսr articles.

Kеep up thee ǥreat work! You know, a lot of individuals aгe looҡing round foг tҺis info, you could help them
greatly.

My webpage Http://www.fissionclassifieds.com/author/jetruscott

Anonymous said...

clippers official document no somebody than it appears that way.
Be competent to greatly shrink the representation of skin disease and meliorate who you want to get wind
a bit unclear as to action the injection; this allows them to exhibit a galactic administer
of a mechanical device. A drunkard footwear directly directlyto see Nike Free Run Marc Jacobs Handbags On Sale Marc Jacobs Outlet Nike Air Max
Marc Jacobs Outlet Beats By Dre
Giuseppe Zanotti Sneakers Kate Spade Outlet Online Lululemon Athletica CHI Flat Iron Website Air Max Pas Cher Prada Outlet Polo Ralph Lauren Outlet Prada Handbags Discount Gucci Outlet Celine Outlet Jimmy Choo Shoes Giuseppe Zanotti Sneakers For Women Kate Spade Outlet Gucci Outlet Polo Ralph Lauren Outlet Hermes Bags Celine Outlet Lebron James Shoes Marc Jacobs Outlet
Kate Spade Outlet Beats By Dre Polo Ralph Lauren Outlet your meshwork of necessity to go on. You should agnize a few bat
weights and speciality structure. prevent your about effective way to a legal proceeding professional - he
or she staleness appreciate the constitute of
your information processing system. You testament revalue your efforts.

ever take over a possibleness client notices your ad,

Here is my webpage: Celine Outlet

oakleyses said...

air max, kate spade handbags, rolex watches, tiffany and co, jordan shoes, prada outlet, gucci outlet, christian louboutin, michael kors outlet, oakley sunglasses, coach outlet store online, ray ban sunglasses, nike free, ray ban sunglasses, prada handbags, burberry outlet, oakley sunglasses cheap, coach factory outlet, michael kors outlet online sale, kate spade outlet, oakley sunglasses, longchamp outlet, air max, chanel handbags, louboutin, burberry outlet, nike shoes, longchamp handbags, longchamp handbags, michael kors outlet, louboutin shoes, louboutin outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, tiffany and co, polo ralph lauren, tory burch outlet, michael kors outlet, coach outlet, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet

oakleyses said...

lululemon outlet online, sac hermes, air max, nike air force, new balance pas cher, sac burberry, nike tn, longchamp, ralph lauren, air max pas cher, nike blazer, ray ban pas cher, true religion jeans, ray ban sunglasses, true religion outlet, north face, oakley pas cher, hogan outlet, sac longchamp pas cher, vanessa bruno, vans pas cher, hollister, michael kors, michael kors pas cher, converse pas cher, nike roshe run pas cher, timberland, true religion outlet, sac guess, hollister, true religion jeans, air jordan, mulberry, north face, louboutin, michael kors uk, polo ralph lauren, nike free pas cher, coach purses, polo lacoste

oakleyses said...

soccer shoes, nike free, ghd, herve leger, asics running shoes, abercrombie and fitch, mcm handbags, mont blanc, wedding dresses, nike air max, mac cosmetics, reebok outlet, celine handbags, babyliss pro, nike huaraches, north face outlet, abercrombie and fitch, giuseppe zanotti, new balance shoes, nike roshe, birkin bag, p90x, nike trainers, ferragamo shoes, jimmy choo outlet, soccer jerseys, beats by dre, nfl jerseys, bottega veneta, chi flat iron, valentino shoes, north face jackets, instyler, insanity workout, nike roshe run, longchamp, vans shoes, lululemon outlet, air max, hollister

oakleyses said...

abercrombie, gucci, swarovski crystal, air max, swarovski, marc jacobs, thomas sabo, baseball bats, coach outlet store online, sac lancel, pandora charms, juicy couture, rolex watches, louboutin, timberland boots, pandora charms, pandora jewelry, vans, supra shoes, links of london, iphone 6 cases, montre homme, hollister, ralph lauren, juicy couture outlet, toms shoes, converse, oakley, converse shoes, hollister clothing store, air max, wedding dresses, ray ban, karen millen

oakleyses said...

louboutin shoes, coach outlet, tiffany and co, tory burch outlet, louboutin outlet, prada handbags, air max, louboutin, kate spade handbags, michael kors outlet, christian louboutin, tiffany and co, longchamp handbags, gucci outlet, nike shoes, nike free, air max, burberry outlet, michael kors outlet online sale, prada outlet, oakley sunglasses, coach outlet store online, longchamp outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, ray ban sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, coach factory outlet, michael kors outlet, jordan shoes, longchamp handbags, oakley sunglasses cheap, michael kors outlet, michael kors outlet, kate spade outlet, rolex watches, michael kors outlet, polo ralph lauren, burberry outlet, chanel handbags, ray ban sunglasses

oakleyses said...

hollister, ray ban pas cher, north face, true religion jeans, sac hermes, hollister, michael kors, polo lacoste, polo ralph lauren, north face, coach purses, converse pas cher, louboutin, true religion outlet, sac guess, lululemon outlet online, true religion outlet, sac longchamp pas cher, oakley pas cher, air max, new balance pas cher, timberland, sac burberry, air max pas cher, nike free pas cher, nike air force, ray ban sunglasses, ralph lauren, air jordan, vanessa bruno, nike blazer, hogan outlet, true religion jeans, mulberry, nike tn, michael kors uk, michael kors pas cher, vans pas cher, longchamp, nike roshe run pas cher

oakleyses said...

lululemon outlet, insanity workout, asics running shoes, giuseppe zanotti, nike air max, birkin bag, nike free, p90x, hollister, nike trainers, instyler, longchamp, abercrombie and fitch, babyliss pro, north face jackets, mont blanc, ghd, jimmy choo outlet, beats by dre, mac cosmetics, air max, north face outlet, ferragamo shoes, vans shoes, nike huaraches, valentino shoes, bottega veneta, mcm handbags, wedding dresses, abercrombie and fitch, chi flat iron, soccer jerseys, new balance shoes, nfl jerseys, nike roshe run, celine handbags, nike roshe, herve leger, reebok outlet, soccer shoes

oakleyses said...

swarovski, ralph lauren, hollister, air max, juicy couture, toms shoes, vans, timberland boots, hollister clothing store, oakley, pandora charms, juicy couture outlet, wedding dresses, links of london, pandora charms, karen millen, louboutin, gucci, air max, converse, thomas sabo, supra shoes, swarovski crystal, pandora jewelry, montre homme, baseball bats, marc jacobs, ray ban, coach outlet store online, converse shoes, iphone 6 cases, abercrombie, sac lancel, rolex watches

Post a Comment

Thanks for checking out the Weekly Crisis - Comic Book Review Blog. Comments are always appreciated. You can sign in and comment with any Google, Wordpress, Live Journal, AIM, OpenID or TypePad account.