The big question facing me whenever I post more Frankie art is “Fraze, baby, do you think you will run out of things to say about this stuff? I mean, it’s old…no wait, stop crying, I mean old is a subjective term and there’s nothing wrong with Old per se…ok look, let me rephrase that for you sweets; it’s vintage work and so clearly the past few years have muddied the memories about why you did stuff and things, and you’ve got a fair few posts of this crap to go even with 8 pages a day. So do you have any idea what you’ll say about it?” and at that point I stop talking to myself and put my pants back on, and then resume my rightful position on the Art Throne and start typing.
With a book such as Frankenstein, with the simplified storytelling and reduced panel count, One must employ “tricks” and “gimmicks” to aid the flow as well as enhance the themes that are subtley being conveyed by my Actors. What I discovered quite by accident when rushing the layouts for editorial approval, was that repetition is the storyteller’s best friend.
Ever watch a movie where they show different scenes from the same angle, same lighting, same figures? Well hello comics. There are some panels and sequences in this book which have echoes down the line. These are not trite attempts to say “hey look, it’s the monster getting angry again”, but more a case to show how a man’s reactions to two different events have an inherent irony, to show the flaw in his soul, that cowardice can be like that bad curry you had, wreaking stinky unavoidable vengance later. Repetition can also show how some people’s lives follow patterns to which they are unaware but we as readers are forced to watch, like Gods, as these characters stumble thru the plot towards a destiny they could never have imagined.
I’ve used repeat panels many times since, sometimes to show the passing of a moment, other times to show the cause and effect of an action, other times to show the cosmic balance in the universe (yeah? Which one was that, Fraze?) and all of these were encouraged by those rushed layouts of Frankenstein.
So remember: Repetition is a cartoonist’s BFF. That and the royalty cheque.