Welcome back to our favorite mini-comics masterclass, Strip Panel Naked, hosted by Hass Otsmane-Elhaou. Though the series normally features Otsmane-Elhaou breaking down a single page (or even a single panel), this week’s webisode is a special, creator-focused treat. Otsmane-Elhaou interviews comic book artist Declan Shalvey, who’s illustrated extensively for Marvel, DC, and Image Comics. With a focus on his acclaimed work on Moon Knight, the two discuss panel layout and the real estate of a comic page as images of Shalvey’s work highlight the topics covered.
Among the topics covered, Shalvey talks working with the instructions on the page and keeping his own expectations in check. When reading a script before tackling the illustration, Shalvey recommends artists, “write the amount of panels on the page on the top of your page... Because if I know there are going to be seven panels I’ll think smaller, and if I know there’s going to be three panels I’ll think bigger. So if I know how many panels are on the page I can already kind of half-compose it in my brain a little.”
An absolute must-watch for aspiring comic book artists, this week’s webisode goes beyond a standard “tricks of the trade” interview, to talk about Shalvey’s various artistic preferences (like symmetry on the page). And when an artist starts talking about personal preference, there’s a unique opportunity to learn beyond a traditional lesson, and dig into the specific tastes of the creator.
Watch the interview with Shalvey below: