Strip Panel Naked, the YouTube-based mini-masterclass in comic creation, this week sets its focus on one of the most popular and well-regarded comics of all time: Watchmen. Created by Alan Moore, Dave Gibbons, and John Higgins, Watchmen is one of those “must-read” examples of the height of the capability of the medium to tell a story, and it tops nearly every “best of” list written about comics and sequential art. In the new episode, Strip Panel Naked’s host Hass Otsmane-Elhaou uses two different pages from the comic to show how framing a panel with careful intent can completely enhance the work.
With careful framing in a comic, the writer, artist, and letterer all work together to establish a mood. Otsmane-Elhaou describes the work going on in Watchmen as “a showcase of how effectively they add subtext to what might just be a normal scene you could see in any story.” In this instance, careful attention is paid to two different moments surrounding the character Walter Kovacs in prison. By using various framing techniques like panel and camera placement, eyelines, and intrusive word balloons, the comic team create entire shifts in power dynamics on a single page.
Dig into the pages of Watchmen with this week’s episode of Strip Panel Naked, below: