So last week I used Starslip Crisis as an example of a comic with stellar pacing.
For the last few months, Anywhere But Here had decided to represent the other side of the road – the comics that don’t have a sense of pacing. The ones with interminably long, slow, dragging scenes.
In this specific case, we’ve spent the last several months watching two characters sit in the same place and talk.
Now, Siebels tells a good story. And I love plot. And characterization. And backstory.
But several months of blank exposition, flashbacks, and talking heads?
Now, for most comics, this sort of thing would be a mark against them.
But, see… Siebels recognized what he had done. He came forward, apologized. He didn’t intend it to go like this. But… life happened. (It tends to do that.) And he didn’t have the time, he didn’t have the energy, he didn’t have the life to devote to the strip, so he half-assed it for four long, painful months. He knew it was crap, he knew that we knew it was crap, and he was sorry.
It takes balls to make a confession like that, and he gets mad props for that.
And when I saw that admission, I was happy. I mean, the strip had been dragging, but here was a chance for change, and that’s all I was looking for – it was enough for me to know the strip would be leaving this stretch behind to the bowels of history.
But, see, he didn’t leave it there.
Apparently he decided to make it up to us, as his latest post is a 26 fucking page sequence.
And it isn’t just filler – this is a long, detailed, beautifully organic dream sequence. This is action. This is characterization. This is showing, not telling. This is the man at the top of his craft, and it is incredible.
I’d post a small sample of the strip, but Blogger is being a bit of a bitch. So just… go. Check it out.
Comics change. I can’t count the number of strips I read that no longer bring the same delight they first did. There are many strips that make me wonder why. Why do I still read this? Why do I cling to a vain hope it will return to its former glory?
And sometimes, every once in a distant while, I find an answer.