BalkanMagazin :: HOW A COMIC BOOK IS CREATED (5): MYSTERY, TENSION, COMIC NARRATION

Everything that is disguised arouses interest. The comic book authors understood that a long time ago, so that the mystery became an inseparable part of the story in the pictures. The most common technique consists of leaving certain elements of intrigue unknown during the story, with occasional hints, more often false than accurate. In this way, the readers maintain the tension necessary to maintain emotional and intellectual attention.

The compositional network can be composed of a series of blocks: imbalance – the first puzzle – who is the killer; suspects; wrong direction of investigation; the second riddle – who is the victim; the third riddle and the second wrong direction of the investigation; concentration of investigation in the right direction; explanation of events; recognition and solution of puzzles; punishment and justice – establishing balance.

Mystery can be created for both the hero and the reader, which is the most common case. In this way, both actors discover the solution at the same time. The mystery, which exists only for the reader, is created by introducing a hero into the story who already knows the solution to the riddle, while the reader finds himself in a situation similar to the previous case. The mystery can be made so that it exists only for the main protagonist, while the reader has already learned the solution to the riddle from the very beginning. In this case, the main map is the feelings that pass through the reader as he follows the hero when going on the wrong track in the case of a simple oversight of an important element…

The tension in the plot

In order to increase the tension, it is important to make the threat as big as possible, if possible even deadly.

“The best drama for me is the one in which the theme is a man in danger, because action exists only if there is danger. Staying alive or dying is the greatest drama of all of us,” says American filmmaker Howard Hawks.

The tension in the plot is created through the mortal danger that threatens the hero and through the dramatic strengthening of the conflict (Aleksa Gajić, Le Fléau des Dieux T4)

Conspiracy, fraud, kidnapping, murder, terrorist attack, war, coup – these are just some of the possible dangerous situations to which dangerous places such as jungle, front, storm, prison, desert are added… Sometimes it is necessary to add dangerous objects such as are a time bomb, a hijacked plane, poison, an infected letter, or resort to the most subtle element of all, introducing a dangerous person, often in the form of a seductive woman, a charming and cold-blooded killer, a hidden lunatic…

“A good plot is constantly filled with events,” says American film master Raul Walsh.

Then the action develops through the intensification of the conflict, and as the tension is predicted to last, it is drawn in several frames of a slow rhythm. Sometimes, it can last from the very beginning, all the way to the creation of a strong hub, or even to the end, when in an incredible and explosive action, a surprising, complete, but also probable resolution and release occurs. Simultaneously with resolving the conflict or removing the obstacle, the reader must be informed of the fate of each of the participants. Otherwise, the feeling of unfinished comics or comics in sequels remains.

In the case of longer series, daily comics or album-episodes, it is very important to complete the story, but already start the next intrigue and thus interest the reader in the sequel. In shorter comics, there is one trap that should be avoided at all costs. It is often the case that the tension is mechanically intensified at the end of the board, which in itself has no justification if it does not enter into the dramatic dynamics of the narrative.

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In the midst of family peace, the arrival of two soldiers brings unrest, and a reversal is suggested by the facial expressions of soldiers and children (Igor Kordej, Diosamanta T2)

Similar to the final “stunt” in a comic narrative, in a realistic comic a reversal can occur during the narration and the plot can move in a completely unexpected direction. After presenting the situation, the protagonist moves in a narrative direction that logically leads in a certain direction, so that, all of a sudden, everything ends opposite to what was hinted at. Unlike the “stunt” at the end of the comic story, which leaves no possibility for a sequel, the reversal is just one of the technical interventions to send the story in a new direction until – the next reversal.

Comic narration

Comic comics, like any comedy, belong to extremely complex genres in which it is not enough to order a few stunts and thus create a joke. In comics, similar to classical theater, there is a comedy of characters, a comedy of customs, a comedy of plots, a social comedy, and their goal is to expose something to laughter.

“Both the rich and the poor laugh at the same things,” says Philippe Wilmen, a French master of humor, “except that the poor value a more engaged approach, a protest, although they are sensitive, as they themselves told me, to romance.”

It is comically based, first of all, on the exceptional power of perception and analysis, and then on the creation of typical characters in special situations, or special characters in typical situations. By creating a contradiction, the comic author enters a real dramatic plot that ends unexpectedly.

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The satirical tone is emphasized by taking over the deformed Disney characters (Nikola Vitković, Life)

Burlesque is one of the favorite subgenres of comic comics, just because it allows the author to completely overcome any logic and natural state of affairs. Burlesque is characterized by several elements – clown tone, ridicule and rudeness, while exaggeration is certainly the most used ingredient in this subgenre. Objects of excessive size in places where it is not expected, excessive effect of an action, excessive speed of events…

Another important element is the repetition of certain actions and the multiplication of objects and effects outside all the laws of logic. This creates the impression of the unexpected. Exaggeration as a key element is also used in incredible and unexpected destruction. The comic effect is also created by inserting anachronistic elements into the story, thus emphasizing the absurdity and improbability of the whole situation.

Satire is the mockery of human and social shortcomings, sometimes in an easier and more witty way, and sometimes through a very sharp polemical tone. Satire in comics can also be very symbolic, taking as the main protagonists certain persons, occupations or animals that characterize the author’s society and everyday life.

Parody resembles satire, except that instead of mocking human and social shortcomings, works of art or the entire genre are mocked. The power of parody lies precisely in taking over the most typical elements and subjecting the work to ridicule precisely through borrowing.

“Stunt”

Funny in life and art occurs when three basic elements are combined: the one who laughs, the one who laughs and the one they laugh at. Complicity is created between the first two, while the third is removed. The effect of the comic is created through the point of view of the witness who identifies with the protagonist or moves away from him. Unlike Hollywood walkers who, while reading a newspaper, slip on a banana peel, hit a flagpole, pass an open manhole, or are not run over in the middle of an intersection, the real “stunt” in comics has the quality of a comedy in miniature.

The author creates a world that is ordinary in everything, and using a serious tone at first glance, he describes events or people in an absurd or funny way. Humor contains an intellectual and emotional part, and it differs from irony, which is critical, in that it is good-natured and represents a state of mind. Humor liberates a person and makes him more resistant to aggression from the outside world.

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Humor contains intellectual and emotional elements whose goal is not only to entertain, but also to point out certain shortcomings (Boban Savić – Ghetto)

A humorous story can take place in several shots or at the longest on one board, regardless of whether it is independent or part of a longer comic. Its goal is to make the reader laugh, and the most commonly used way is to end the story outside of expectations, contrary to what was hinted to us. The “stunt” is always constructed in three stages. First of all, the cartoonist shows a situation that is quite neutral. Then comes the development of events, which suggests a logical development and the end of the story. The cartoonist must not say too much, so as not to reveal the end, and at the same time he must suggest a possible solution.

The last phase is the culmination of a story in which a “stunt” is reached. The first two stages can last shorter or longer, while the last one is always extremely short, usually done in one frame. The peculiarity of this ending is the exclusion of any other sequel and the need for any additional explanation.

Zeljko Pahek, a great master of comic and burlesque comics, believes that the comedy of comics must naturally arise from the very development of events and the motivation of the characters.

“Geg, like all parts of parody or satire, must fit perfectly into the very structure of the story. A witty replica must be fluid and non-violent, appropriate for each character. Gag, by itself, without a strong attachment to the rest of the plot has no great purpose. “

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A comic effect can be achieved through contradiction and absurdity (Željko Pahek, Legion of the Impenetrable)

Story-based comics can be done primarily with drawing tools and in that case are very short, with a small number of frames, simplified plans and angles, reduced decors and with a minimum of dialogue. So, everything is in the function of amplifying the effect of the “stunt”. In case the stunt is primarily expressed on a verbal level, the last frame will contain exactly that one word, statement, thinking or statement that turns the whole situation upside down. Thanks to onomatopoeias, it is possible to make a sound “stunt” in comics.


Source: Balkan Magazin – Aktuelnosti by www.balkanmagazin.net.

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