Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Tom Hart's constraints to us (pp. 3 & 4)

I've already mentioned three of these in passing, but here in one place for ease of reference are the five constraints that Tom (Hutch Owen) Hart sent us for pages 3 and 4:

1. AS ABOVE, SO BELOW: This is one constraint. The page must feature a levitation and a burial.

2. A DISGUISE REVEALED: A disguise must be revealed—to the audience or the main character. (A light inspiration from The Seventh Seal)

3. SAY NO TO THE GRID: No two panels can be on the same X or Y axis. Each border of each panel must exist in its own unique relation to the edges of the page. Circular panels cannot have the same center on any axis. Trapezoids cannont share a continued line.

4. SIGNS AND LABELS: Each panel has to feature a sign advertising a product, service or the like, or a label doing the same.

5. THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC: All close-ups (of the subject of the panel, whether human or not) and no transition between two panels can feature a common element. ("The kind of storytelling I berate my students for!" says Tom.)

As Isaac noted, some of these constraints would make for tricky storytelling if found on the same page (for example, pairing numbers 4 and 5). I tried to be mindful of this when I left him with "A disguise revealed" and "Signs and labels"—which is not to say that the combinations we are working with don't offer their own brainteasers.

Finally, I like that Tom's constraints offer a mix of pure comics formalism (items 3–5) and specific narrative instructions (items 1–2). I made sure Isaac got one of each kind for page 4.


Tom Hart said...

I want to add that I think the "Disguise Revealed" obstruction is more an homage to Jon Lewis' "The Frost Changes." You story of medieval loners and travellers and magic and so forth reminded me of his Nordic medieval moustache saleman. I wish I could tell you where to read that story on line. You could try

Isaac said...

That's serialized in "Spectacles," isn't it? I've got the issues stashed around here somewhere. The mustache salesman is a totally great detail. (Reason #581 to love Jon's comics.)

Mike said...

Isaac's got the issues "stashed" away somewhere -- or is that 'stached? Bwahahah! (Sorry.)

But seriously, Jon's comics are awesome. I'm really looking forward to part two of Power of Six: The Twisted Apples!