Protocol Mismatch

Protocol Mismatch

Ye gods this page took forever to work out. It didn’t help that a lot of my “work on Rita” time this week was spent on putting together some packages of it to ship off to a few publishers – having the Tarot deck get international distribution really spoilt me on all the hassles of self-publishing, and I want to do more stuff that way!

Meanwhile in the “when can I be like Rita1” news, check out this video of Boston Dynamics’ new bipedal robot.

4 thoughts on “Protocol Mismatch

  1. o_o how did you get to lead people trougth this page without them getting confused? I’m not saying its confusing I read it just fine but it seems you had to spend a loooooooooooooooooooooooooooot of time thinking about the layout for it to work

    • Two things. First, I’ve spent a lot of time teaching you how to read this comic book; if you go back to the beginning, you’ll see a pretty smooth progression from “here is the blue world” to “now here is the red world” to “these worlds are going on simultaneously, and oh hey each world’s dialogue is in its color scheme.“. Then I play that fairly straight for a while, and let you get used to it. If I started with something like this page EVERYONE would be lost, but when it’s thirty-three pages in I can start playing around on top of the rules I’ve set up. (And I am glad to know that this trick of subtly teaching you how to read this crazy comic WORKED!)

      Second, I know the biggest secret of how to lead a reader’s eye around the page: you have a VERY strong tendency to jump to the closest balloon from the one you just read, especially to the right/beneath, in a pattern similar to reading lines of prose. I get the rough dialogue arranged in pleasant flow very early on in the drawing process, rather than drawing the art then cramming the words in wherever there’s space. I got this technique from Eddie Campbell, who expounds on it in greater detail here if you’re interested in the theory.

      I think the biggest special trick in this particular page is having the red-world mirror act as a portal to the blue world for one panel as the worldlines start twisting around each other. If I recall correctly, the basic idea came pretty quickly when I decided I wanted to twist the stories like this; if I hadn’t had the mirror there in the room, I would have used a window, a doorway, or some other opening to frame it.

      I actually have a few pages of scribbles from when I had the initial idea that “parallel stories in a comic would be cool” that include several of the parallel-story tricks I’ve pulled in this comic so far, as well as some that I’m saving for later in the story when they’re thematically appropriate.

Leave a Reply