Several hot summers ago, while enrolled in a video production class, the instructor said a movie must be watched at least three times in order to appreciate different aspects of the film.
First watch: Watch the film in its entirety to get the general storyline.
Second watch: Mute the film and watch for body language and dialogue.
Third watch: Listen to the audio track in its entirety without letting the visuals interrupt the flow of conversations and music soundtrack.
It usually takes at least two to three reads of a comic’s archives in order to get a real sense of the storyline and characters. There are so many similarities between creating webcomics and storyboarding that this type of litmus test works as well for comics. Although, the nature of comics is that they usually lack music, audio dialogue, and sound.
Years ago, I remember reading the once featured historical-fiction comic, The Dreamer by comic_chic, on The Duck where a girl from modern times gets transported to the American Revolutionary War. There was a certain scene where the the main female protagonist was in her room while listening to “Stolen” by Dashboard Confessional on an iPod Classic before falling asleep. This particular scene from this particular comic was moving because incorporating a familiar soundtrack into a comic space helped narrow the gap between the comic world and non-comic world. I actually think about that comic panel whenever “Stolen” comes up on a playlist.
Disney’s Fantasia (1940) and early Tom and Jerry cartoons were spot on when showing the symbiotic relationship between drawings and music. Classical music has so many raw emotions of a composer, conductor, and musician intertwined together that assist with dreaming up visuals to complement the music. (The visual I usually turn to when I listen to classical music with my eyes closed is a butterfly or bird flying through a strong wind that suddenly turns into a heavy storm.)
Logistically, incorporating actual song files into a webcomic page takes a lot of work, not to mention the bandwidth costs. Referencing a song lyric or showing a character listening to a song in a convenience store or singing alone in a room takes much less work, but the attention to detail can do wonders in building the comic’s surrounding world.
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kawaiidaigakusei at 12:00AM, April 11, 2022
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