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Old 11-14-2011, 01:44 AM   #1
Steve Colle
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VISUAL STORYTELLING: Flashbacks, Flash Forwards, and Dream Sequences

As this is going to be in the How-To book, and seeing as how this question was brought up here recently, I'm going to present to you ways of conveying Flashbacks, Flash Forwards, and Dream Sequences.

The options for maximizing the visual effect of the FB, FF, and DS can be broken down into four categories:

1) The Images - Content
2) The Images - Presentation
3) The Panel Borders
4) The Gutters


The Images - Content

- Making visible and obvious changes to setting and style of dress (such as New York City in the present FB-ing to NYC of the 40's during WWII or DS-ing to a situation of being followed into a dark alley in old London) can make the transition easier to follow by making the setting clearly distinguishable from the present.

The Images - Presentation

There are seven ways to differentiate the present from the FB/FF/DS:

1 - Use a different artist.
2 - Use the same artist, but a different art style.
3 - Use a different medium (pencil and ink to watercolor, pencil crayon, etc.).
4 - Use a more or less detailed art style.
5 - Use more or less detail with regards to content, making the frame fuller or emptier vis a vis surroundings.
6 - Fade the art.
7 - Switch from color to B/W or use a color that is completely distinguishable from the "norm" of the present.

The Panel Borders

There are six panel framing styles or types:

1) Standard - square or rectangular shapes.
2) Designed/Geometric - circles, triangles, parallelograms, rhomboids, pentagons, stars, keyhole shape, etc.
3) Expressive - symbolizes the emotion of the characters to accentuate their feelings in their given situation, such as using the "squiggly" lines around a character to represent shock or surprise.
4) Aspect - using part of the setting as a literal framing device, such as a cave entrance, the archway at a wedding, a door frame in a house, etc.
5) 3-D - the panel borders represent the foreground (when part of the body/prop is cut off) and/or the background, creating the effect of "escaping the panel".
6) Borderless - no framing device, permitting the actions and setting to exist beyond the walls of the frame as it "bleeds" off the page, also allowing time to move forward without the restrictions of set cuts caused by the confines of a time restraining border shape.

The Gutters

There are two ways of showing a difference from the present with regards to gutters:

1) Manipulate the width of the gutters (this is usually used to play around with timing and the passage of time, but can also be used effectively if the technique has not been used elsewhere in the book during present-tense scenes).
2) Fill the gutters with color(s) which is/are distinctive from present-tense usage.

So, as you can see, there are a myriad of techniques that can be used independently or in conjunction with one another to get the point across that this isn't the present or woken state.

Thanks for reading.

Steve
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Every good story must accomplish two goals: Convey information effectively and incite an emotional response. If one or both of these are lacking, the story won't keep the attention of your audience.
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Old 04-30-2017, 08:20 AM   #2
Steve Colle
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Steve Colle is a jewel in the roughSteve Colle is a jewel in the roughSteve Colle is a jewel in the rough

What's old is new again...

A piece I wrote a number of years back.
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:47 PM   #3
maverick
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Made use of flashbacks by placing them in front of each chapter on the first page for several chapters of my comic that ran in Fantasy Scroll (each chapter/part was six pages)

http://fantasyscrollmag.com/article/...ws-josh-brown/
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Old 05-11-2017, 03:20 AM   #4
YellowDogArtistry
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maverick - i did that too, but made them black and white for added effect because the whole book was color. each flashback told more of the character that was predominately featured in that chapter.

is the pay good for that mag? i read their conditions and rights and they say they have rights for the first six months and then it reverts back to the creator. Is there any meat left on the bone after that, so to speak? i'm into fantasy and especially horror. it would be nice to draw some horror stuff for them but i don't know if it is worth it. how was your experience with them?
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Old 05-11-2017, 01:27 PM   #5
Steve Colle
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Those work, too. Add them to the list.
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Old 05-12-2017, 04:18 PM   #6
maverick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YellowDogArtistry View Post
maverick - i did that too, but made them black and white for added effect because the whole book was color. each flashback told more of the character that was predominately featured in that chapter.

is the pay good for that mag? i read their conditions and rights and they say they have rights for the first six months and then it reverts back to the creator. Is there any meat left on the bone after that, so to speak? i'm into fantasy and especially horror. it would be nice to draw some horror stuff for them but i don't know if it is worth it. how was your experience with them?
I think the magazine is currently on hiatus, but they are mainly a market for short fiction and didn't really know how to pay for a comic, so I received the same pay rate as the prose fiction writers. The short answer to your question is no; in the end my payment to the artist was far higher than what I received from the magazine. Not that I am complaining, I knew the deal. I thought it would be good exposure, and while I did get a few decent reviews, I feel like the comic was ultimately ignored by comics fans because it ran in a short-fiction genre magazine, while on the flipside it was dismissed by fantasy-fiction fans because it was just a comic. For now, I am simply releasing each issue on ComiXology and hand selling print copies at cons and such.
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Old 05-15-2017, 05:42 AM   #7
YellowDogArtistry
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might be worth it for an individual writer/artist - for exposure that is and maybe that individual might see some profit since it's just one person.

but dude! i checked out your comic. i love it. the art is awesome and i know i can get into the story. i don't care if it's not image, marvel, dc, or any other name publisher, this is pro stuff. the covers are killer too (reminds me of beastmaster, lol). good job, man. you should be proud. and hopefully with the right marketing and stuff people will continually buy it. i'm gonna buy it. i promise.

it's hard when you are a no name indie guy. i'm 100% convinced people (of all ages, cultures, and wallet size) are institutionalized to the big three. no self righteous, institutionalized, fan wants to cross the pond into boom, devils due, comixtribe, insane comics, or any other struggling publisher - i mean you get some and that's cool, but not enough. not only fans of comics but industry creators don't want to work for "no name" publishers. it takes some balls for a talented artist to work for a "no name", just like it takes balls for a fan to buy from these unknown publishers. everyone (young, old, fan, creator) wants to be a part of the big bloody deal. it's a force of this really sick and chaotic world. it's the force of ego. it's jungian. it's architepical. you don't think the force of ego, control, and power can only manifest itself in people? it's so bloody obvious. industries, intrinsically and inherently, manifest dominance - partly by "it self" and partly because "people" run those industries.
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