Comics Creators

Creating energy in your panels.


I’ve been obsessing over Frank Quitely’s sequential art and the two things I really need to work on with my own pencils is backgrounds and giving each panel (especially action scenes) a sense of energy and motion. Does anyone feel the same about their work or perhaps have advice for me or others?


I misread the topic title as “creating energy in your pants” and came here because I felt I genuinenly had something to contribute on the matter.

Sadly, I was mistaken.


I would suggest looking at a bunch of different artists who are the best at this type of thing and work out some of their basic tricks in creating motion and energy and building on them. When you know all those basic tricks you’ll find you can look at panels with alot more options in how you draw them.

I would suggest Joe Quesada (especially his panel work in Ash and Batman Sword of Azrael) and Katsuhiro Otomo (the panel work in Akira has some absolutely breathtaking moments of movement for static images).

Here’s a piece on Otomo from Comic Alliance - - and a link to Otombler -
I believe every comic artist should study his work.

I’m sure other Millarworlders can give you some more examples of artists and panel work to learn from.


You can still share, anders; we don’t mind. What’s happening in those pants?


Well, contrary to popular belief it takes more than a lie or two to set them on fire.

You also need oxygen, a bit of heat, some friction…


Nobody does it better than Kirby. Action in comics, not the pants thing.


Geoff Senior oozes energy, have a look at some of his work from the 80/90s - To The Death - New comic project from Furman and Senior (Death's Head, Dragon's Claws)


I disagree but thanks for joining the conversation.


Aw, dammit! Now I did it!


The AV Club had a great article about Akira the other day, and they brought up the way he moves the action from panel to panel as well

And if we’re talking manga creators and energy between panels, Masamune Shirow was a master of the form back in the day:

To make this sequence doubly awesome is that Shirow did a commentary where he explains some of the decisions the characters make in split seconds, showing just how much thought he put into it. For example, Deunan is shooting into the chest of one of the cyborgs in the last panel of page 7 because she’s realised his brain is stored in his chest cavity rather than his head.


I’ll have to read that later on. I’d love to find a great manga artist to work with but I’ve found them very hard to come across. I really need a Fred Perry or Lieji Matsumoto type artist for a 44 page one-off book called ‘Run, Raygun, Run’ but I can’t find one as yet. I’m not sure if Fred Perry is much over my budget but I may end up just approaching him and paying the extra if he’ll agree to do it.

Agreed. When I started pencilling in my teens (before put it aside to write) I used to carry around my wee purple Appleseed graphic novel and sketch stuff from it.

Edit: Also, if I could like your post more than one time, I would!!


[quote=“Lorcan_Nagle, post:10, topic:7675, full:true”]
The AV Club had a great article about Akira the other day, and they brought up the way he moves the action from panel to panel as well[/quote]
Thanks for that, it was well worth a read.


I actually found that years and years and years worth of Gold Digger is readable for free and legally online, going back to the B&W ongoing: Colour issues 50-100 are on Scribd Unlimited so I had a bit of a binge of them a couple of months ago.

(sadly, a quick google doesn’t show up any decent pages to illustrate Perry’s skills. I was hoping to find some of that one Robotech story he did)


@ParkerMcTwatface I’ve never read the Akira manga, I’ve only seen the film but that is exactly the kind of thing I want to inject into my sequential art.

@Lorcan_Nagle I’m not sure about Shirow’s work it kind of felt ‘too busy’ I got a bit confused when scanning through it.


It is well worth a look, especially as an aspiring artist.


Cracker. I’ll keep that link handy for a binge myself. I remember seeing an issue (or it could have been a light trade, the memory is hazy) of that robotech story, leaving the shop, coming back to get it and being devastated it was gone. It seems pretty hard to come across.


I agree with Dave, in my eyes the manga is up there with Watchmen and Preacher too as one of the best comic series of all time, too.

Obviously it’s pretty expensive to buy it all, but there is torrents out if you want to check it out before making that sort of investment. Well worth it though, it’s a masterpiece in story telling. It’s one of the only manga I’ve read that I feel manages to walk the line between what Western and Japanese audiences look for in narrative style and story outcome.


Volume 4 of Appleseed was probably the apex of his ultra-detailed backgrounds. I can see if I can find something a bit less cluttered, if you like.

I managed to get the second and third issues, but never the first. Antartic Press’ Robotech comics were stupidly hard to find, I think I got no more than 3 or 4 issues of the anthology, a yearbook, and an issue from each of two different miniseries.


This is a great observation, and one that hadn’t really occurred to me before.


Antarctic Press have always seemed to struggle with international distribution, but it’s not necessarily their fault. I can remember one shop flat out refusing to order Ninja High school in for me. All of his excuse seemed like bullshit but I was, like, 14 and unable to argue and call him on it. I think their scheduling was pretty bad though and struggled to get books out on time. Image has alot to answer for, they made it acceptable across the industry to be late.

I think you can see a big difference in the anime in that respect, it was very clearly far more geared towards a Japanese narrative style than the manga, which is understandable to be fair.