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Subj: Re: SI #3 - Why does the action in fighting not tell a story anymore? [SPOILERS]
Posted: Sun Jun 08, 2008 at 03:50:43 pm EDT
Reply Subj: SI #3 - Why does the action in fighting not tell a story anymore? [SPOILERS]
Posted: Sat Jun 07, 2008 at 09:16:35 am EDT

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Am I the only one who is becoming increasingly irritated that fight sequences don't seem to be shown in a linear enough way to know..

who is fighting who
who is winning
what specific techniques/powers etc are causing the outcomes

it just looks like a mess with costumes a good chunk of the time.

The visual of fights used to have an ebb and flow that told you a lot about the personality of the combatants.

This issue and mighty/new avengers of the last year have been particularly egrigious offenders.

I know it is trying to depict the chaos of war but this isn't a documentary.

Clarity needs to be respected enough that the story is digestible.

This feels like a movie with over/poor use of the shoulder held camera technique.

Please explain why I am wrong or why you agree.


I think you have touched on at least some of the reasons. Here's my 2 cents.

1) As mtyoung mentioned below, group fights are no longer sets of 1-on-1 fights, they are true melees. Depicting that is just harder to choreograph and artists are struggling to logically compose the panels. Perez is of course a master of this, where you can see the logic of each character in the panel even though the panel itself looks like chaos.

2) It seems to me that artists are trying to show more with less space than they used to. In the old days, a giant fight might last for 6 pages with lots of panels and maybe one splash page to hit a high note. Now, all of that is shown in one double-page spread (essentially just 1 panel to work with). It is like seeing a snapshot of action rather than a sequence.

3) As you mention, like movies, artists are trying to show the reader that the fight is chaotic and hard to follow as if the reader were "in the action". Movies have a huge advantage with this because they can do that for a few seconds and then focus in on a smaller sequence within the fight to orient viewers and then switch back to the chaos. Comics just don't have that luxury.

4) There is a tendency, perhaps because of manga influence, that artists will sometimes pose characters rather than show them in motion in a big fight. That breaks the flow and consistency of a fight. You mentioned SI specifically, and I think Yu tends to do that (both in NA and now in SI). I'm not saying it's bad or good, but it is a different presentation.


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