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Panel By Panel: 'Ferda Boys' and Pacing

hpkomic at 5:48PM, Aug. 11, 2023

Hello everyone, and welcome to Panel by Panel, a periodic exploration of comic panels around The Duck. This week I indulge in hockey through the webcomic Ferda Boys. This is a relatively new comic on The Duck, so seeing such a strong start is good. We're looking specifically at the first comic, likely titled “Early Bird Catches the Worm.” Ferda Boys is a comic by Hockey Webcomics.

I'm looking at the whole first strip this time to discuss pacing.

I think this first strip shows much promise for the comic ahead. I could talk about many things, but pacing, in particular, is what called to me for this week's write-up. This first strip is a great example of how to show the passage of time in a comic, especially when that passage of time is full of larger and smaller moments.

Right at the start, two panels convey an instant of time—between silence and an alarm going off. The panels are also smaller, which helps to reflect this more fragmentary moment compared to the others. These micro-moments of time usually work with smaller panels and less real estate because they feel more granular. There is an inherent understanding of the small time encapsulated in these first two panels.

Then we have the third panel, which isn't too far off from the first two chronologically but is given more time to breathe. There is more to look at and establish and create a natural rhythm. Just as our protagonist here is getting up and orienting themselves, we orient ourselves around the panel, picking up on details: hockey gear. Also, a nod to Alpha Flight, the Canadian superhero team, and Madman. There are some fun details here that reward slowing down.

This third panel establishes the first beat in our normal transition time on significantly longer morning routine moments. We go from waking up to being dressed for breakfast to walking to a game or practice, whatever it may be. We understand there is a deliberate, steady pace between each moment that contrasts deeply with how the page began.

This is the work of a practiced hand in comics, and I'd wager the next page will also be great.

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Hockey Webcomics at 8:15PM, Aug. 13, 2023

Thank you for the support. The right pacing is probably the aspect of writing that takes me more time to figure out, specially when dealing with short comics, where there's few room to tell a story and spread a message. Sometimes it can take longer than drawing itself! But in 13 years writing, planing comics, getting frustrated with the results and rebooting it, one thing I learned is how pacing can be important. A tricky thing for me as an artist and an author is the fact that the pacing, the idea itself, the messages, the payoff... everything is clear for me when I'm planning and writing it down. But that doesn't mean that it will be clear for the reader when it's done! Putting it to paper is always very challenging. So sometimes I'm happy with how it comes out, sometimes I'm not. The Duck is great! Thank you for the support again.

HawkandFloAdventures at 11:05AM, Aug. 12, 2023

This series is so useful. I learn something new everytime

J_Scarbrough at 6:37PM, Aug. 11, 2023

I think I picked up on something from this one, because honestly, I don't think I've ever given any thought as to how to convey pacing in a comic before, and it does make you wonder just how would one approach this and go about it? I suppose utilizing size of and action within a panel could be an effective tool for such.

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