Storytellers: Alan Moore and Steve Skroce
Publisher: Awesome Comics
Year of Publication: 1998
Page Count 3 issues (around 70 pages)
What I learned about writing/storytelling:
1. Moore keeps the panel count fairly low
2. Sometimes it’s amazing how much Moore can do in just a few panels. For example, here, in just three panels, he has Shaft talk to Twilight, Shaft take down a robot, Waxy Doyle enter the room and chat with Shaft.
To some extent he does this by having the dialogue describe what is happening, so a single image can, through dialogue, be made into more than one moment in time. (In this case the “damn that was close” line in panel 1 is a beat after the earlier dialogue, extending the time flow of the panel).
3. Moore starts issues 1 and 2 with a “prologue” sequence, labeled as such, that sets up who the villains will be for both self contained stories. Issue 3 doesn’t use a prologue, but the action starts early on with bad guys attacking Youngblood HQ. This is a very action packed book, and Moore gets the story rolling right away by introducing the bad guys.
4. Issues 1 has no cliffhanger. Issue 2 is self contained but has a final page with a cliffhanger/ lead in to the next issue. Issue 3 is a cliffhanger. Issue 4 (only available in script form) ends that storyline but has an epilogue setting up the next storyline. This is actually unusual for Moore, who usually doesn’t do these sort of cliffhanger lead ins to the next story.
5. I noticed Moore does fancy transitions where it made sense (Like in Youngblood HQ they see Twilight on the monitor, then we cut to Twilight in the field doing her thing) but there were sequences where it just went to the next scene after the page turn or used a voice over without a fancy transitional setup. So, I guess if Moore didn’t think of a fancy transition, he was willing to jump cut on the page turn.
What I learned about art/storytelling:
Artist Steve Skroce occasionally has characters cross the panel borders during a fight scene, but he does it with a lot of restraint, and I don’t think it hurts the storytelling because its used sparingly and in a minimalistic way. See the image above, also this example:
Skroce does not seem to cross the panel border during the non action scenes or pages with a fixed camera.
Notes/Reviews/Synopsis: This is a reread of a book I like a lot. Alan Moore’s Youngblood is sort of New Teen Titans done right. Frustratingly, only 3 issues came out (and 6 pages are missing from issue 3, apparently cut to save money). There’s a few leaked scripts for additional issues on the Internet, though I haven’t gotten around to reading them all.