Over the course of the semester thus far, I’ve been paying most of my attention to how the art of comics differs from other styles. Primarily, because I like to doodle, and comic panels generally don’t take up too much space, but also to analyze how the depth of each panel is conveyed. As is often discussed, comic panels are can act like windows, either into an open world or into a confined space, like a room.
With such little real estate, how do artists translate this depth to the audience? I’ll primarily focus on manga and DC Comics for comparison of eastern and western techniques, but what I’ve found revolves mostly around patterns and line weights (known as inking). In manga, generally more uniform line weights are used, with block shading, rather than hashing, used to add another layer of depth. For example, this panel from the Shadow Link manga.It’s also important to note here the extravagant hair and the important role it plays in manga. Another aspect of manga to take note of, visible in the image above, is the patterned background. This technique creates an almost abyssal atmosphere to images of its ilk, but focuses the audience on the foreground character.