I spent last week in a Master Class in Cartooning with the infamous Paul Karasik. It was an intense week of “killing your babies”, “the deal, and the real deal”, and then break into three. You got it, we spent the whole week working on story structure. Rarely have I been more exhausted, or made so much progress so quickly.
One of the exercises we did in class was a back to the basics 3 pager. The assignment: in one hour draw a wordless comic showing how to do something – so anyone reading it can follow the instructions. I chose making a cup of coffee – with all the glory of my coffee snob tendencies.
Then we were all sent home to edit the 3 pages of comics down into a single page.
In order to save space, I cut out the section grinding whole beans and replaced it with the protagonist scooping out pre-ground coffee.
And if you think this is over, you’re sadly mistaken. Step 3: go home and edit further. My instructions were to make the page less dense, so I got rid of AN ENTIRE TEIR of panels!
Final Step: Go home and edit some more! I combined a few panels, then made the protagonist a bunny because it amused me. Then Ink, color and done!
It was a great exercise in the power of editing. At this point, not one panel can be moved, nothing can be taken out. Everything has significance and is easy to read as it is to fall off a bike. My only regret is that I had to take out the coffee grinder. I do like freshly ground beans.