Stalker #3 – pg 8 – The Apartment

The initial search for clues moves to the missing girls apartment in this page.

When I write, I generally try to end scenes at page breaks.  Here we have a number of scenes starting and ending in the middle of the page.  It’s been almost seven years since I wrote this script, so I can’t remember why this is, but if I have to guess, I made changes to the script that lengthened the story.  The book had to be 20 pages as that is what I’d contracted with Trevor, so that extra length would mean more panels per page, and scrunched some of the scenes into a smaller number of pages.

Have I talked about panel counts?  Over the years panel counts in comics have gotten smaller and smaller.  Look at books from the silver age and you’ll find that pages of twelve panels were quite common.  This allowed the telling of long, complicated stories in a small number of pages, often only ten as they would have two complete stories in a twenty-page book.

Over the years, panel counts fell.  This allowed more impressive action sequences and books started to typically have only one story in them, a “full length story” even though it wasn’t actually any longer.  The trend has continued to the point where the typical Marvel or DC book today has only THREE panels per page on average.  Count the total number of panels and divide by 20.  Often there are panels filling entire pages or even two pages.

This is great for artists trying to sell their art pages (which typically belong to the artist, not the publisher) and for the publisher trying to build a story to fill a 200-page graphic novel.  The cost though is that stories take much longer to tell.  The average Stalker books has 6 to 7 panels per page (this page has eight) and tells a story twice as long in the same length book.

A note on eye color.  Stalker’s eye color has been inconsistent in the comics.  Here they’re green.  George Freeman made them blue in Stalker #2.  For the record, the character description provided to the artists states that Carrie has brown eyes.

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