Thursday, April 10, 2008

Sound of the Crowd

I have this love-hate thing going when it comes to crowd scenes.

I love drawing them, and I hate drawing them. There's the odd rush that takes place when I think about the kind of energy a crowd can generate, whether in a quiet scene like a mass or a noisy one like an outdoor party. Depending on the situation, everyone who appears on the panel has to be doing something, allowing them to contribute to the entire atmosphere the scene intends to evoke. In theater, it's called "stage business." When I place a person in the crowd, I always take a moment to think what's on the person's mind, and draw accordingly.

But when it comes to actually putting it all on paper, I draw out the thumbnails with copious grunting and clawing. I remember what Gerry said before, that the fun part is in the thinking. The actual art becomes a technical exercise, with a test of endurance thrown in.

So far, I haven't mastered the crazy chaos of a crowd during, say, an outdoor superhero battle, and that's something I'd like to give a go at soon. I know I'm going to suffer through extreme palpitations there, but as they say in gaming, we all need to level up sometime.

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