Part 9 of Wine and Die now online plus Detail Vs Action!
Always difficult – which is best? Action vs Detail?
Some might put that as Marvel Vs DC, which is a very rough and general summerisation, but I have to confess in my US comic buying period of the 1990s, it did always feel as if many Marvel titles were plot laced around a large splash of action while DC were action laced around a large amount of plot. Nothing wrong in either – I used to love delving into Batman and Spider-Man, two title characters who seemed to mirror this perception. Both had plot and dialogue, but I’d say Spider-Man seemed more focused on the big brawl per issue, while Batman was more focused on the details. Perhaps that’s changed now – if it ever was – point is, some stories are action focused, some like being more about the prose or the story. Both parts are often required, just depends where you want the focus.
With Foxhell, the focus is on the story/dialogue – so you’ll occasionally get big chunks of text like in this and the previous episode. Lots to tell and not much space to tell it in. Could drag the strip out to do so more evenly, but then does the story begin to meander? I recall a commentary on the UK British Sci-Fi show of the 70s, Blake’s 7, which was always rich in dialogue. It was pointed out the reason was because the format and budget didn’t lend itself to action and lots of different sets/scenes, so more dialogue filled up the space in specific sets/locations. They didn’t have the budget for anything more.
Same with Foxhell. There are constraints on how long a story can be (releative to the tale) and also how much space there is to really place action. Action in small strips can never really be that epic. Big epic shots take big epic frames. In a news-strip, I think it can drag. I think with large narrative pieces like this particular strip, the excess in detail works better in the strip than an excess of action. You come to a news-strip expecting little, so in some respects if you can cram in a lot – without it looking too confusing (and I think this strip is borderline on that front, I admit), it makes it for a meaty feast. If done sporadically. Done too much and strips become too much of a headache to approach on a regular basis.
Rest assured tomorrow’s isn’t quite as… meaty!