Here we have our first multi-photo layout. I hope this actually works. If not… well, that’ll suck, won’t it?
But I wanted to show something I think is really neat. Tom Siddell’s writing and drawing an epic story that traces a group of schoolchildren through a Steampunk/Magical/Tech/something version of a British Public School.
What’s so remarkable about the three images above is just how good Siddell is at showing the normal growth and development of children into teenagers and beyond. The leftmost image is from Chapter 19 of Gunnerkrigg Court, which was a gathering of the boys and girls after they’ve cleverly snuck out after curfew to socialize. The middle image is from Chapter 27, when there are nasty things about. The third is from the current chapter, 34, when the boys and girls have cleverly snuck out after curfew to socialize. So, you know. Same as it ever was.
In all three strips, we see Jack Hyland and Antimony Carver. The events depicted within take place between the beginning of Year 2 and the beginning of Year 3. But in each, we see that they’re growing taller, more angular — they’ve clearly had a major growth spurt recently, though their bodies haven’t yet filled into their new height. Also, at one point a demon spider is eating Jack’s brain, but that’s not important right now.
It’s easy to draw characters either exactly the same or suddenly older and more filled out. It’s hard to subtly change them over time, and depict that growth in a realistic manner. Siddell’s work in this regard is practically textbook, especially since his style is such a blend between the realistic and the fluidly surreal — which is a perfect counterpoint to the balance between ‘science’ and ‘mythic’ in the strip proper.
This kind of gradual detail is really, really great to see.