Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My thoughts on Panel Grids.

This post could've been short enough to classify as one of Jerry Springer's "Final Thoughts", though I hope it is at least somewhat less inane and helpful.

At some point in the 1990's, comics developed a peculiar aversion to grids in favor of slanted, broken, speed line filled panels. I'm not saying it was completely across the board, but it was certainly a heavy trend well in the middle of this past decade and, in some areas, persists even now.

I'm not taking a stance that there aren't viable alternatives to grids that tell your story just as well (see anything Mike Mignola has ever, ever, ever done), but it sort of boggles the mind why artists with detail oriented styles would be opposed to using a storytelling tool that unclutters everything! Its Comics 101 for an artist struggling to pace a page, issue or an entire arc, whether its his script or someone else's.

Its clear that there are established artists who scoff at grids and that's fine, so long as I can tell what's happening panel to panel and, by and large, I can. On the other side of the coin, it can be dangerous for new artists if all they see are rows of panels cocked at 35 degrees to emphasize action. Because clearly it can be done without.

My closing argument? Grids were good enough for Jack Kirby. Grids were good enough for Alex Toth. Grids are good enough for me.