We have about a week left to go on the In Our Dreams Awake #1 Kickstarter, so be sure to check it out!
Taken as a whole, a comic book represents the input of multiple people, multiple perspectives, and multiple skill sets before the final product is created. I’ve said many times in the past that one of the reasons I love the format is exactly for that reason. You get to feed off of the creatives who you work with. And what begins as one thing can become something completely different in execution (and making the overall comic that much better).
Pencils – Edgar Salazar
Inks – Genaro Olavarrieta
Letters – Egg Embry
Writer – John McGuire
This pair of panels represent the end of a larger conversation within the issue. So much of this world that Jason Byron lives (dreams?) in is dictated by the mages who control everything. They ensure the chaos technology threatens to bring to the people can never exist again. They are Order.
And to go against that would mean going against everything they stand for… and that way lies madness.
So what do we see? We see that Edgar made a choice to not allow for any other colors within these two panels, but instead presented them as a pair of black and white moments. Two men, representing opposite beliefs about their world, are separated by the small table.
Page 7 Panel 7
Annoyed by Peter’s accusation, Jason pushes himself away from the table as if to get up.
Jason – I know all of this, Peter.
Peter – So ask me your question again.
Page 7 Panel 8
Same shot as Panel 7 (Jason is still sitting). Jason pauses. No words are needed.
As you can see from the script, I actually made a slight mistake between the two panels. In Panel 7, Jason is frustrated/annoyed and pushes himself away from the table. Edgar followed that showing him standing up. His body language is very tense. However, when we come to Panel 8, I note that “Jason is still sitting”…
No, John, he is not.
But Edgar went with it, and I think it actually works in this visual context because of the artist’s choice to make these mirror images of each other (in regards to the black and white). Where Jason was angry in the previous moment, he has sat back down. But instead of either of them furthering the conversation, the darkness envelops them instead pointing two the very ideas that they stand for can not exist alongside one another.
It even mocks the prompt from Peter in Panel 7: “So ask me your question again.” Panel 8 answers that prompt with silence. There is no need to push the issue any longer.
There are no shades of gray here in this place.
But perhaps there is another world for Jason to find peace? One he can visit while he dreams?
Please check out the current Kickstarter for In Our Dreams Awake!
John McGuire is the writer of the sci-fi novel: The Echo Effect.
He is also the creator/author of the steampunk comic The Gilded Age. If you would like to purchase a copy, go here!
Click here to join John’s mailing list and receive preview chapters of upcoming novels, behind the scenes looks at new comics, and free short stories.
His other prose appears in The Dark That Follows, Hollow Empire, Tales from Vigilante City, Beyond the Gate, and Machina Obscurum – A Collection of Small Shadows.
He can also be found at www.johnrmcguire.com