Monday, June 19, 2006


A hat trick of silent penultimate panels today: (Notice how I cleverly work in hockey terminology the day of Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals. It will be the first time I've watched hockey this year.)

Frazz by Jef Mallet
Jump Start by Robb Armstrong
Sally Forth by Francesco Marciuliano and Craig Macintosh

Pearls Before Swine doesn't count today. The penultimate panels contains information essential to the gag.

But, the rhythm is really off here. The action in third and fourth panels logically happen almost concurrently. But, for the gag to work, we need to hear what Pig says before we see what Duck does. Pastis struggled obviously struggled with setting this up right. Since the Duck is blocked to the left of Pig, if the third and fourth panel were combined, we would "read" the duck first. His solution was to break up the scene into two panels. And it doesn't quite work. What might have worked better would be to have Duck alone in the panel with Pig's dialog coming from off-stage.

For a while now, the Sally Forth artist has been trying these Eisner-esque borderless panels.

But, too often the Forth's end up looking like a family of clones. If you're trying to do something clever like this, make sure it works.


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