By now lots of you have read YA #4, which came out this week, and there’s been a lot of talk about the double page spread on pages 2 and 3. So I thought I’d use that to talk a little about the collaboration process of YA. Kieron mentions in the AR segment for the book that when you make comics as a team you’re really trying to pretend to be one person making the whole thing. That’s why we believe the best comics come out of close collaboration, and not just a production line. Spoilers after the cut.
Here’s the spread in question:
Kieron suggested four or five ideas of how to tell the sequence, but I came up with the idea of telling it as an isometric diagram. I was inspired by the sort of diagram you see on safety posters in trains or on planes.
Once I started planning it out, I realised that with the shape of the club as it was, I had room to add panels focusing on different moments around it. I planned Noh-Varr’s route through the club - it was written as going straight through, but I realised he needed to go upstairs to a) take out the bad guys there and b) take advantage of the space of the diagram. It also gave him that cool moment of backflipping off the DJ booth. The day I was planning the route I met up with Kieron in the pub, and I talked him through Noh-Varr’s run. He immediately had the idea for Noh-Varr to switch records as he passes over the decks. It’s now one of my favourite bits in the sequence, and it wasn’t in the original script!
Finally, I was originally planning to only number those parts of the diagram that correspond with larger panels, but Lauren suggested numbering them all to aid the direction of reader’s eye. Once THAT was done, Kieron then realised he could add a numbered key, which allows us to further show a bit of Noh-Varr’s personality through the action.
If we didn’t have the back and forth conversation that we have when working together, this DPS would have turned out very diferently, and I think probably for the worse. The fact that we’re having fun and working together to produce as singular a vision as we can shows through.
Backgrounds inked by Mike Norton, colours by Matt Wilson, lettering by Clayton Cowles.
EDIT: I forgot to add! Making the numbers that correspond to different panels a different colour was Hannah Donovan’s idea.