(++WARNING: There are potential spoilers in this writer’s commentary for ‘A Clash Of Kings’ Vol. 2 #7 ++)
Okay…I’m behind schedule on these, but let’s dive into – issue…7? – of our GRRM adaptation. That would be… Clash of Kings volume 2? I think it’s issue #7. See, I still use the original numbering. So I think this would have been issue 23. Anyway…
This was a tricky one. Bran is deep into his wolf vision here. And it’s important, as he is experiencing the wolves’ reaction to the impending invasion by Theon and the men of the Iron Islands. Lots of content to pack in here, as well as an absurd amount of action. And it has to have a weird otherworldly style to it.
There was originally supposed to be an inversion of page 1 here – a mirror image on the page flip, with Bran’s face where the wolf’s was, and the same pattern to the panels. That was dropped somewhere along the way. A pity, I think it would have helped reinforce the weird mystical connection at play here.
Ugh! So many scene changes. See, this one reads less clear than I like. This is why I end so many scene changes on a long shot and start the next on a different long shot. Otherwise it muddies the transitions so that they just look like regular comic beats.
Our space is tight, so we just have Hodor getting beaten in the background. Poor Hodor.
End the scene on a long shot. See how much better that works!
Hey, notice how the panels are staggered in the bottom two tiers of the page so it’s not just a grid? That’s important because it helps keep the page from looking like a grid. Grids are boring, unless used to specific effect. Like, if you want to create repetition and monotony (and you would be surprised how often that’s important for a sequential narrative) then a panel grid is key!
Had to get picky here and edit GRRM’s text down. It hurts like a razor to do so, but it’s sometimes necessary.
Can’t end on a longshot? Here’s a great alternative. Arya is running OFF the page. Hell, Mel should have had her break the panel border here.
An off-panel voice is another transition break that can work nicely – and it does here.
Our colorist is freaking amazing.
I like to run the action scene silent whenever possible. You don’t need words. Just “read’ the images. They tell the story.
Again the page starts off with a weak transition. But sometimes, since this wasn’t written with comics in mind originally, we have to adapt and accept imperfect moments.
This is a controversial layout. The extra panel along the left side is a deal breaker for a lot of cartoonists. I like it, personally. But it can be a tricky one. It confuses some people’s flow of reading, so use it carefully.
George R R Martin’s A Clash Of Kings Vol.2 #7 is available now from Dynamite Comics