“Torch” — Part VI, Page 8

Posted on July 6, 2010 at 5:00 am in FINDER as part of TorchTorch - Part Six, « TorchTorch - Part Six, . Follow responses to this post with the comments feed. You can leave a comment or trackback from your own site.

44 Responses

  1. Runbotrun says:

    I remember having discovered your work in Scott McCloud’s “Understanding Comics”, where he noted that you have developped a unique style of psychological interaction of your characters…
    To make a long story short: Pages like this one are the reasons I enjoy “Finder” so much ever since picking it up.

  2. Oneiros says:

    Hey, isn’t this sort of how Jaeger starts one of the “Five Crazy Women” stories? With a “So.” in a bar?

  3. K.L. Droscha says:

    …………….wait, is that the chick from the ‘mirror’ image cover page from around February, where a Rachel and another woman are walking step in step?

  4. the jolly goth says:

    Yes. I think so. They seem awful chummy. I wonder what the deal is there? Perhaps this is the lover on the side?

  5. reptangle says:

    Hey Rachel, I think that ones a girl! Guys aren’t that subtle.
    Good chemistry though, wow.

  6. Inkthinker says:

    Nah, I’m thinkin’ that’s the prettiest dude ever. Llaveracs are sneaky like that.

  7. Surely it’s the cull who lent Rachael her size 12 pants. Oh, I’ll have to buy the books, so I can remember names.

  8. She’s pretty cute, and it’d be kinda cool if she turned out rich and male for Rachel to marry, but if the girl isn’t rich (which as a cull I guess she can’t be) then Rachel better not give up Jaeger even for a suchlike smile of slow-flowing-honey. Or then, maybe she better give up Jaeger and rich benefactors, and find someone Llaverac and pretty who’d be good for her and not just a tantalizing crush or a way to help the Ascians. How many pages left in this story for her to find a path away from hepatitic self-immolation on Orianna’s altar?

  9. matthew brandi says:

    I am spatially challenged, so somebody help me out here.

    In the “So.” panel, Rachel appears to be looking to her left (page right, away from the street). From panel one, that’s the direction you’d expect her to look for another person at that table.

    The penultimate panel looks like a 180˚ flip of point of view. The straw-sucker appears to be to Rachel’s right (page right, now street side): wouldn’t that put her in the empty seat facing Rachel in panel one, and not where Rachel appears to be looking in the previous panel?

    Rachel spoke first, and I’m assuming her interlocutor was already seated.

    I’m confused. Am I even more hopeless with geometry than I supposed? (Entirely possible!) Are there cues which would enable me to read this, but which I am missing? Is it that we’re just not shown the information which would fill in the gaps? Is–whisper it–something wrong with the page?

  10. Jessy says:

    In panel one Rachel takes a seat on the street side of the cafe the bar is stage right (veiwers perspective). her companion is out of shot on bar side the direction Rachel looks in 3rd panel. Perspective now switches to behind Rachel from the street side looking towards the bar(you can see it in the background behind her companion. Her companion isnt so much facing her as sitting next to her on the side of the bar looking towards the street. Does that help?

  11. matthew brandi says:

    The same side of the table interpretation makes sense of the directions they are looking in, absolutely.

    Then Rachel’s nose (90˚ to the line through her shoulders) should be pointing over her interlocutor’s left shoulder, yes?

    But I keep “seeing” it as pointing over her right shoulder.

    I should probably get my brain changed for one that can read pictures.

  12. Oneiros says:

    Consider that in the fourth panel, the viewer’s perspective is not EXACTLY behind Rachel, but behind and to her RIGHT. So Rachel’s friend will appear more to her right than she might be. And also consider that perhaps Carla, though I do find Finder to have a high degree of realism in its depiction, is playing around a bit with the perspective here, and so might have the perspective bent a bit, for artistic license.

  13. reptangle says:

    The stageing reads ok to me, the only slightly off thing I notice is that in the second to last panel, it seems like we shouldn’t see the back of Rachels shoulder, but reather a more side veiw of her, if she is sorta slumped onto the table with her weight on her left arm, looking to her left at the honey sucker.

    -AND I want to add that – I think this page is up there with some of the best comic pages I’ve ever seen in my life.

  14. matthew brandi says:

    “… we shouldn’t see the back of Rachel’s shoulder, but rather a more side view of her …”

    Well, exactly: otherwise the panels don’t seem to cohere … to me, a visual ignoramus, so big heap of salt! Coherence has been the (seeming) problem all along, not poor drawing within any panel.

    I think we all like the page, and were impressed by it. Why fret over a crap page? I am reminded of the claim that the car chase in Bullitt is incoherent, with, for example, one car losing six hubcaps–in no particular order.

    I posted for two reasons: [1] to get help understanding the page; [2] to give you lot something to do other than drool over Rachel’s table companion.

  15. K.L. Droscha says:

    No offense to any of the commentary above me, but I think you’re looking into the position of the panels a bit too much. Quite frankly, people are not usually static when they sit down. Just for fun, let’s say Rachel pulls back the chair, sits down in a heap with a sigh, drops her hand and glances up, and then leans back in her chair, thus explaining the angle we see in the last couple of panels. In summary, let’s just enjoy the beauty of the art and be more worried about ‘who’ is trying to get into Rachel’s pants. :)

  16. reptangle says:

    So… since we are all picking this page to bits.. what is the rectangular object in the first panel? -it is cut off on the right side of the panel.

  17. reptangle says:

    Lower right side I mean. Over the table, above the cup-like thing.

  18. matthew brandi says:

    I see it. I dunno. Menu card on a stick?

    See also the centre of the table at the back of the panel, to our right of Rachel’s left upper forearm. One of those!

  19. Chessapiece says:

    Maybe it is the glass the girl is picking up? In the first panel, she seems to have a teacup, but when we see her she has that glass with a straw… but maybe it’s water, and she’s holding it over her tea-thing in the first panel.

  20. Works fine for me – yeah she’d have had to sit forward, but I didn’t notice it, doesn’t really stop the narrative.

  21. Speed says:

    Good grief. I’m sorry, darlings– this is the kind of thing you talk about when the updates are too long in coming.

    Where have I been and what have I been up to– well, I did a six-page story for Marvel’s GIRL COMICS #3. Two mutants walk into a bar, the third one ducked, ahahahah. I am also deeply embroiled in drawing an OGN for Vertigo called BAD HOUSES, written by the brilliant Sara Ryan. On top of that, I am furiously inking TORCH for publication through Dark Horse in January, and trying to force my skull into eight-page-drama shape, since Dark Horse wants to relaunch DARK HORSE PRESENTS with eight-page color FINDER stories.

    So I thought “How nice, at this point in the story I could give them a purty gurl to drool over, and that’ll distract them.” Ah. Too slow, they’re dissecting camera angles.


    New page each Wednesday, cross my heart, hope to die, eat a horse manure pie.

  22. matthew brandi says:

    It would have worked, but the saliva was making the floor too slippery for my liking, so I tried to distract them from the distraction.

    With only limited success.

  23. Oneiros says:

    Sorry. She IS purty.

  24. Owlmirror says:

    Menu card on a stick?

    Or a menu floating in midair. A hologram-menu.

    Too slow, they’re dissecting camera angles.

    Your audience is a bunch of nerds.

    Nerdicus nerdicus and/or Nerdicus geekicus

  25. Peter Tupper says:

    I think this is a 180-degree rule problem. The first three panels set us up that Rachel will occupy the left side of the scene, and whoever she’s talking to will be on the right. Rachel’s sideways look supports this. However, in panel 4, we go to a reverse shot, looking at the other woman, but we’re looking over her right shoulder, somewhere other than where Rachel was looking.

    If panel 4 was just reversed, so that Rachel was on the right side and we were looking over her left shoulder at the other woman, it would make sense. It would also have Rachel leaning to her left in both panels.

    To CSM: glad to hear things are happening for you professionally.

  26. Liza says:

    /makes mental note to pick up Girl Comics #3

    Do not get too stressed over updating here. We love the story, but we also respect you and do not want you to drive yourself insane.

    I’m excited about all your projects and looking forward to seeing the results!

  27. matthew brandi says:

    “Camera angles?” “180-degree rule?” This isn’t a movie, it is a page of comics. Assuming that simultaneously visible panels are equivalent to (only) sequentially visible shots, and that what applies to shots applies to panels is both lazy and risky.

    (Yes, I may have been the first to mention film, but only to sneer at an alleged disregard for continuity. A high-risk activity, as I’ve not seen the flick!)

    As for whether this is an example of disorientation caused by breaking the 180˚ rule, my understanding is that the “rule” says that crossing the line may disorientate, if correct positioning is preserved, and that sometimes jarring effects may be avoided by throwing geometry/continuity out of the window to preserve viewers expectation of screen position.

    PT, are you saying that following the rule (cheating on positioning), rather than breaking it is what’s causing a problem here? If so, don’t we agree?

    (Back to the same-side-of-the-table interpretation: doesn’t the perspective on the bar agree with the angle we have on Rachel in panel 4? If so, wasn’t I too quick to agree that the panel could be fixed by changing the drawing-of-Rachel part of it, if that’s what reptangle intended.)

    Of course, it may be that Rachel isn’t looking at “purty girl” and the “where the hell did she come from” reaction intended, and then the joke really would be on us–and on me especially!

  28. matthew brandi says:

    That should have been:

    … and that the “where the hell did she come from” reaction was intended …

    of course. Sorry.

  29. Jessy says:

    Dude your overthinking this. Stop. Take a deep cleansing breath in. And out. Better? Now go back to the page and appreciate it for what it is, a beautiful composition. I may not have read a tonne of comics but I’ve read a few, pages like this a few and far between. (cept of course in Finder!)

  30. … gosh, she sure _is_ purty.

  31. Of course, Speed, another sunbathing Vary pinup would probably tide us over even further … or, say, pinups of all the core female characters (did I say female? No, I don’t see how I could have said that) as sort of a themed series. Or, hey, throw in Jaeger and Brom and Jackdaw, give us some Young Coward action, him and Zivancevic with suntan lotion, or possibly just an unscaled, plucked Shar regurgitating and blushing all mock-coy and come-hither.

    I’m just saying, is all.

  32. Oh, and apropos of absolutely nothing except this is a comics forum, can I hear a shout out for Harvey Pekar? If for nothing else but that he got in some magazine as one of the 50 great comics characters of all time, and was billed as “created by Harvey Pekar and R. Crumb.” (they also listed him as having the secret civilian identity of “Lukas Trent” but we’re pretty sure that was a typo).

  33. Oneiros says:

    Yes, I saw the news about Harvey. I never followed his book, but I did watch “American Splendor”.

  34. lowlow says:

    To me, the new girl looks a heck of a lot like Rachel when she was in better health.

  35. reptangle says:

    Yeah! Another sunbathing Vary, but this time with Ollie in front.
    (Not all of us nerds are male)
    I’m Glad tomorrow’s Wednesday.

  36. matthew brandi says:

    Purty? Schmurty!

    In panel four she just looks young, soft, … and very, very stupid. If that doesn’t add up to a massive turn-off, what does?

    Of course, it may be easy to look stoopid sucking on a straw, but then it is pretty easy to look attractive when up-close, half-smiling, and interested.

    Rachel, on the other hand, is starting to look weary and cynical, and that you gotta love.

  37. Liza says:

    Adding to the love for Pekar. If any of you haven’t seen it, The Pekar Project is good reading: http://www.smithmag.net/pekarproject/

    And, belatedly, @matthew brandi: Cinematic terminology is used by comics artists all the time. Even though there’s no actual camera, you’ll often hear them use the word as a shorthand for the viewpoint in a given panel. So now you know.

  38. matthew brandi says:

    “So now you know.”

    I am in many ways an unsophisticated creature, it is true. But that I knew already.

    Is it not, though, a form of cultural cringe?

  39. Twitch says:

    brandi, if you wanna come up with better terminology so that comics creators and readers can hold their heads high, instead of regarding their beloved medium as “film’s red-headed stepbrother”, be my guest.

    But “camera angle” is pretty straightforward and accessible for a bit of jargon in the visual arts, so I’m gonna leave it be.

    (one could have easily replaced “camera angle” with “perspective”, an older and less film-centric term in visual arts, but then “perspective” can mean many different things, so the more specific and less-easily misinterpreted “camera angle” fits nicely.)

    (when I first read your initial question, the word that leapt to mind was “blocking”, but that has not made its way nearly as far into common parlance as “camera angle”, even though it is technically closer to the question at hand, continuity of character placement in the scene.)

    (The point of my abuse of parenthetical statements being, never let quibbling over terminology interfere with *communicating the message*.)

    (In conversation, I regularly find myself excusing someone else’s verbal gaffe – “Did you mean *X*? It’s okay, you know what you meant, and *I* got what you meant, so let’s move on.”)

  40. Twitch says:

    to cut to the chase:

    If your statement prompts the audience to run for a dictionary, chances are good that they will miss your point completely.

    (unless your point was to prompt the audience to run for a dictionary :P )

  41. matthew brandi says:

    I guess it was ‘camera angle’ and ’180˚ rule’ both coming up that got a rise out of me.

    I was reminded of discussions back in the ’80s in which ‘cinematic’ seemed to be used as a synonym for ‘sophisticated’. (Somerset Holmes was maybe an example.)

    And Scott McCloud, of all people, playing the game of casting the Zot! movie. (Not that he thought there’d ever be one.)

    I started to wonder whether people really did think of comics in cinematic categories, and I started to doubt that that would be a good idea.

    I’m also the sort of person who thinks that ‘audiobooks’ are no more books than counterfeit banknotes are banknotes, so it is probably best just to write me off as a relic of another age.

  42. Anna says:

    I like how it says “hot stuff” over the cutie’s head

  43. Speed says:

    Ha! I’d like to say that was deliberate, so I guess I will!

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