Saturday, March 3, 2012


Along with being both the whitest and oldest state in America, Maine produces 90% of our toothpicks (update: it was). Not that there is any causal connection.
Here's an aside about composition: posted below is the raw scan of this particular panel, which is interesting to compare and contrast with the finished version above. Nothing major, mostly subtle shifts so as to give a bit more visual "breathing room" around the elements. That's a frequent criticism of amateur cartoons: they sometimes look a bit cramped, and when everything is too crowded it can turn into a series of optical speedbumps that add up to the viewer glazing over, as opposed to smooth reading of the image. This is similar to the concerns in taking care while lettering - keeping everything legible includes the pictorial ingredients. That said, if you can't handle a single panel cartoon, that might be a symptom of something a little more serious than a weak composition. Still, when I'm finished inking and it doesn't look quite right, that's usually a sign some digital tweaking might improve the layout of the piece.

Another factor that comes into play as far as composition is concerned is the deliberate layering, or overlapping of particular elements to suggest or enhance foreshortening, which in turn better establishes depth in the panel. In this case, even the comparative scale of the toothpicks recede in size as they diminish towards the horizon line, along with the figures and accompanying dialogue balloons.


  1. Someone get those pickers some kneepads

  2. That reminds me, I gotta do some more banjo gags.