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Help Your Comic Break Free from Panel Prison

Artist Tradd Moore talks about what went into creating a nearly panel-free comic book.

Though the idea of a "panel" is as connected to comics as the speech bubble, there's a whole subset of artists who veer away from traditional panel structure and layout. This week's mini-comic masterclass, Strip Panel Naked, continues a conversation between host Hass Otsmane-Elhaou and Tradd Moore, the artist of Luther Strode, Ghost Rider, Zero and more. The two focus on some of the most interesting page layouts from Moore's work on "Luther Strode, Vol. 3," written by Justin Jordan and colors by Felipe Sobreiro. In this week's video, the artist talks about his inspirations, and the challenges he set for himself.


"With this series I just had it in my head to kind of challenge myself to do something distinct with each issue," says Moore. "They're going to all of these different environments… so it just gave me a lot of room to try out different visual stuff." In this issue, the characters are in a vast, flowing desert, and Moore designed the characters and clothing to match the environment.

Panel selection from Luther Strode, Vol. 3

Moore was particularly careful to make sure that unconfined landscapes and characters didn't flow over into pages and affect his overall style. "I found myself thinking that I had to use full bleeds to evoke certain things," Moore says, speaking about the borderless, two-page spread often used in comics. Instead of giving in to this inclination, Moore decided to create full pages with borders but minimal panelling. "I wanted to see if I could forgo that element and still make a striking, cool visual comic."

To hear the full conversation and see plenty of Tradd Moore's influences, including a Shakespearean Italian comic, watch the video below:

To see more, visit the Strip Panel Naked YouTube page, and check out its Patreon page to support the series.


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