Tuesday, August 09, 2011
Internal Logic in the Comic Strip Universe
I draw my comic strips the old fashioned way, in pen and ink. Oh, I use the computer for a lot of stuff, but there's nothing better then laying down panels on a piece of good bristol, and then working on filling them. To me, and probably lots of other Cartoonists, each panel is a window into another universe... a universe of my own creation.
And like any other universe, the ones we create must have rules... laws of physics, internal logic, continuity; whatever it takes to create a world that makes sense to a reader, while that reader is in that world. Truly, you can do anything you want. Cats can talk, pigs can fly: whatever you want, as long as it is entertaining to someone. :0)
Now, the universe in Knight and Day is fairly small. Currently I have 3 main characters, and about 6 supporting characters (can you name them all?) and several others who are mentioned or make the rare appearance, if you've read all the strips. The name of the strip is Knight and Day, though, so I always focus on Steven and Amy, in particular Steven, since he's loosely my doppleganger. (Don't you love when you can fit words like Doppleganger into a conversation?)
Anyways, Steven is an alternate reality version of myself, if you go by the comic strip as an other universe theory. As such, when I write strips, I sometimes reject them when I realise it is Amy and Iris talking, with no sign of Steven. That's why you may see Steven sticking his head into the last panel, just to make an appearance. So Steven being in the strip is a rule I work by, when creating.
Or do I? :0)
Apparently, even Cartoonists are fallible, and I was surprised at how many strips have snuck by me that don't feature Steven! In my defense, the strips usually feature Amy, talking about Steven. I guess, in my mind, talking about him is the same as having him there, and at least he is somewhat involved in the strip. There are a few where he is not involved, but those are 'unofficial' strips, and seen by relatively few. They'll appear in a future book, but when writing them I must have subconsciously known 'the rule', and so pushed them aside.
Now, I must go finish the strip I'm working on. I think I'll post that in the previous post. :0)