Last night I decided to give my girlfriend an opportunity to come up with a story, just to mix things up. This was possibly the most challenging thing I have ever done. Her idea pushed me so far out of my box that I got frustrated and almost gave up for the night.
I had intended to draw an entire page. We started brainstorming, one of my favorite parts of the process. She would put an idea on the table, and I would build on it. For about an hour we played off each other ideas. Never saying “no” to an idea, but “yes, and….” Ideas need to keep moving. In a creative discussion you have to nurture an idea and let it grow. After a few acting sessions and dialog run-throughs, we whittled it down to a four panel page of suspense.
Scene 1: Little girl sitting on bed, stream of light cuts through the darkness.
Scene 2: Mom and Dad taking stance in the court yard.
YOU ALL MUST DIE!
Quite, Shi’s sleeping. This is crazy, why are you doing this?
Scene 3: Daughter sneaking down the hall.
Scene 4: Mom horizontally strikes at Dad. Dad jumps above sword coming down with a death blow. Shi is watching in the background.
Revenge is for the weak.
I reread the script and began drawing the scene again. This time I understood the father’s build and the mom’s elegance. I worked this into the action. Mom’s dress really helps to emphasis her movement and Dad’s short stature makes it easy to compress his body enough to stay in the frame. I also realize that this is not my final image but a sketch for the actual page. I wasted a lot of time trying to save time, and it bit me. Do yourself the favor, and take time to plan things out.