Today was a busy day here at Harker Central - I was in the studio, sorting out a few little changes to the script and lettering for issue three, just making sure it was how I wanted, and we've now finally put that issue to bed, forging fully ahead on issue four.
In his room, Vince was working on his layouts for issue four, based on our plotting session last night. Working from the notes he makes during the plotting, Vince does stick-man sketches of each page, panel by panel, working out roughly the storytelling for the issue, how the action flows, what the characters will be doing, how they move etc. He uses these layouts as a guide for the forthcoming photo reference sessions, and also as a guide for what backgrounds he needs and how to pace the issue.
This is a particularly crucial part of the process for Vince - although in places I've been specific about what characters are saying, what they're doing, how they're reacting, in other places I've left it much more open. As a for instance, we have a three or four page introduction to the issue, showing Harker and Critchley making their separate ways to the Britsh Museum - last night I described roughly what I was after, talking about the contrast between their journeys (Harker all tension and road rage, Critchley zooming through the streets more relaxed in his flashy sports car, emphasising the comedy), and giving Vince the credit sequences of The Persuaders and The Prisoner as visual cues. The details of this are up to him, and when the art is done, I'll then script over his drawings, taking my cue from what he's drawn. It's a really satisfying way to work, and creative for both of us.
The next stage is the photo-reference session, which we'll be doing after the weekend. I'm away until Monday (some of which will be spent in London, taking photographs in the British Museum for issue four for Vince), so things will be quiet until then, but I'll be back on Monday evening with the next stage in the process - see you then!