Musings on Paneling
02: Stepping Down (or Up)
Again, we have the number 2. *shifty eyes* Don't be immature. It's just a number, I tell you! *_*
More manga thoughts. Hopefully is ADD friendly. I hope it is approachable and leaves every viewer feeling free to do with the general ideas what they like. This one method uses staggering panels and also bleeds to establish hierarchy of reading.
Stepdowns (or stepups) can be great to lead the eye. Likewise, they can step-you-up. Like a transformer! You can "step-up" to the next panel or page in a book and "step-down" to a panel or scene. I see other manga/comic artists use this method a lot! You can use it in all sorts of ways if you wanna explore it! It's really a matter of hierarchy (and it lets you shake things up every once in a while!)
It's not necessary to comicking or anything, I just thought it'd be helpful to point out! In Akira, Otomo doesn't use (tachikiri) bleeds at all, keeping it all within the safe area and there's always a square of white space around his pages. :) There's a huge burden on him to do it alllllll~llll with composition. And hats off to him for that. *_* So many amazing people out there -- it's enough to make one depressed. *collapses*
Likewise, his opposite is Vagabond by Takehiko Inoue, which bleeds out everything all the time! (However, when inside his Shounen demographic during Slam Dunk, he used a lot of margins and stepping.) You'll see bleeding out completely in a lot of Seinen genres, like Berserk, too. However, there's a great amount of variety there, too, because Hellsing dude uses stepping extensively... Death Note (although an SJ title, feels more mature) also uses stepping. So much variety, it's a bit overwhelming! *ramblerambleramble*
I've been asked about paneling before, but paneling is such an individual thing. It's a very broad topic to approach without getting stuffy and academic. A lot of the time I just notice things and draw randomly and design-design-design-GOOO without ever putting words to what I'm doing or consciously thinking about it. Luckily, Erin has been asking me things about stuff I never though to put words to. So, I decided to do some laidback "tutorials" that simply present a principle and apply it. Maybe this is more helpful than walls of academia on things like Gestalt principles, which you can read on your own time.
Vampire Fetish Sample Page (c) Loom
WARNING: This is just one principle concerning a single page. Don't take it to be all encompassing but rather a single penny thrown into the wishing fountain. I'm not saying to always use "stepping." I am showing am example of one. Hope it's useful to someone out there. If even one person finds it useful, I will feel happy inside. *_*
dA Version: This can also be found on Deviantart. Here,I removed the background & squished it a little bit, but if you still find the text too small to read, please go here.