Remember how the Sabrosa blowed up Bedlam at the beginning of the chapter?

I’d link to it, but I hate those pages and will be cleaning them up after I get the next two taken care of. The point is that Heirotus blowed up the loony bin and now you’re seeing the one thing Hollywood always edits out of their Big Action Whatever – the paperwork.


Continuing with the camera motion theme from the previous page, the pan down would end with panel one – positionally, the tail lights of the Beefmobile would wind take the place of the Daedalus engines – though for a cheap-and-easy transition, a straight cross-fade would work just as well with everything lined up. The one major issue with that is the Daedalus doesn’t fit “nicely” in frame in thrust gravity mode.

Here’s a fun fact for you: spaceships in sci-fi are designed like smoothed over boats for two reasons. The first is that the designers are a bunch of bastards*. The second is that the Sulaco or the Discovery or a Star Destroyer all fit very nicely within their film aspect ratios. And movie stills are wide, not tall. Fitting shit on the screen is the big design constraint, and while panel dimensions don’t have the same constraints, the pages are (unless you’ve taken a few hits off of whatever Scott McCloud was smoking when he came up with the infinitely impractical ‘infinite canvas’** that people who think owning McCloud’s books makes them a COMICS JEENYUS think is awesome) a constraint in and of themselves – margins, bleed, practical print size, etceteras.

Add that to the fact that ATC is a webcomic first and anything else second, take screen size and my own tendency to think of layouts as storyboards, and you wind up with lots and lots of wide panels. Which makes the Daedalus a bit harder to deal with compositionally. We’ll see if I can break out of this mindset in the next chapter.

* Self included.

** Tycho made a better case of this in a PA news post a few years ago – the fact is, people like hardcopy. Infinite Canvas can work on the intertub, but I don’t have the intertub stacked next to the toilet. I have a pile of Alan Moore trade paperbacks.


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Glossary Articles

  • The Beefmobile

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