The webcomics blog about webcomics

Baking. Also, Thankful.

I’ve mentioned previously how Freakangels, by Internet Jesus (with illustrator Paul Duffield), reads better by running several weekly installments (each six pages long) together. Know how it reads even better? As a book. Picked up the trade paperback recently, and damn, but Warren Ellis can write. He’s a master of the show-don’t-tell skillset, giving us bits and pieces of a ruined world without every coming straight out and giving us the whole exposition (not that he doesn’t know how to do exposition up a treat).

And in print, some pages work better than on the screen; check out this four page sequence from the story; in the book, the first two images face each other, as does the second pair. Now consider a few additional facts:

  • Freakangels follows a near-total four-panel layout; sometimes it’s splash pages, sometimes it’s one above and two below (or vice versa), but it’s nearly always four panels on the page
  • That almost completely blank page has a four-panel grid on the other side of the sheet of paper
  • The paper is slightly thin

As a result, there’s a subtle ghosting of panel borders and word balloons that show up translucent behind that big block of white. It turns an image of being lost in the totality of the universe into something more haunting — panels and balloons mean the passage of time and conversation in comics, and they’re going on somewhere just past where (or when) you can grab onto them. It may be an accidental artifact of printing on too-thin paper stock, but damn it looks pretty.

So there you are. We’re nearly the same age, Warren Ellis and me, speak the same language, and have had many of the same historical touchstones in our lives, and yet he turned out to be the kind of person that could think up and spin stories that I absolutely adore and I did not. This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for all those voices rattling around in his head waiting to get out and for his compulsion to spit them out to where I can read them. Now, who wants pie?

[…] the print crowd. (And if you’ve thrown your lot with the non-electron crowd, here’s Gary Tyrrell’s impression of the print […]

RSS feed for comments on this post.