We all shoulda went to school to be crazy old men, Boxes. As you can see in panel four, I figured out how to use Clip Studio Paint Pro‘s line/burst/manga-thingy tool. It’s fun. Even though I’m not overly trying for a manga feel, I don’t mind using its influences here and there. I like reading manga (Japanese comics for you Normals), and I need to read more. I just (finally) finished Akira, and I picked up some Osamu Tezuka manga from the library.

Behind the Scenes:  see my original drawing for this comic and more on Patreon

Speaking of manga, I did a little experiment while on the last volume of Akira. I counted how many panels were on each page for the first 50+ pages of the book and figured out the average. Katsuhiro Otomo‘s average number of panels was 4.8 per page (remember, this was just a sample from the first 54 or 57 pages). The most panels he ever had in that stretch was nine (he did have pages with more later in the book, but it was during a crazy mental breakdown scene).

It made me think about how many panels I was using in my Foxes & Boxes comics. Today’s page has ten, but I’ve done other pages with more. So, going forward, I kept that 4.8 panel average in mind as I wrote and laid out comics. You won’t see the fruits of this experiment for a while (remember, I’m working about six pages ahead at any given time). But, I’m happy I made this observation while reading Akira (considered, rightly, a classic) and applied it to my comic making.

I’m not trying to finish a story in a set number of pages, so there’s no reason I can’t break a script up between two pages (or even three).

On the American side of comics, I just read Sisters by Raina Telgemeier and I’m eager to read more of her work. Great stuff.

There’s some comic making advice for you: read as many comics as you can, by as many people as you can. Superhero comics, manga, graphic novels, autobiographical memoirs, daily funnies–whatever–read them all.

Related Foxes & Boxes Comics – Foxes & Boxes – 25, Foxes & Boxes – 31

Comic Transcript

Foxes &  Boxes – 38

Kane: y’all git to my house! i want that spirit kilt, ya hear? d-e-d! dead!

Fox: whoa!

Fox: that’s Kane’s house?!

Boxes: I shoulda went to school to be a crazy old man!

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Daniel J. Hogan is a geeky cartoonist and writer living in Michigan. Daniel is available for freelance writing and cartooning commissions (Contact Daniel). This post contains affiliate links, unless it doesn't.

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