An early note, Misery Chord, and what a name: You may notice a theme in my breaking down your criticisms as you've constructed them. I won't lie to you that I am a bit irritated at this specific set of criticisms given the subject matter, but I will merely speak on your substance as much as I can be afforded to do and hope that you don't take my rebuttals as harsh, as they are primarily gentle in their chastisement with honest attempt to avoid patronizing.
One thing though, to start with: why are you putting two spaces after every sentence? I'm getting weirded out.
Misery Chord wrote:There are a lot of elements in this page that are out of place. For instance, there is a lot of text-heavy exposition, even more so than normal for a wrap-up.
Yes. That's right.
I don't regret that, either, when normally I accept brevity as a law to be left unbroken in comic writing. This might lead one to believe that there was a shift in tone in the construction of the comic page. One that proffered contrast and meaning contextually in spite of what by circumstance led to a definitively hard shift in tone of the comic.
Remember the fact that the page before this was the April Fool's Day page. I wrote that also. I disliked the contrast being that sharp rather intensely.
It was unclear even after the Wolf's interference what Brave's history was, as the reader only receives bits and pieces. While Hansel's description is vague, his words put a stamp on an enigmatic character. Compare how the text itself is placed on this page to previous ones.
You are inferring correctly that Brave departing from the comic has been altered from perhaps the original methods that may have been employed. However, you might make note of not merely how they were implemented, but the intent behind the implementation--from a structural standpoint; as you are aware, I am rather familiar with the structure of a comic at this point.
I also have some issue with Brave talking, for instance. I don't mind if he said something either significant or cryptic, but given that for this entire comic, he's been silent on-panel, that he spoke would be a significant moment visually,
I take issue with this as it is simply untrue. He has spoken before. Just before Red woke up back in EverAfter Asylum.
but in this comic, it's both referenced in passing and shown, which robs his actual speech of its impact. Furthermore, what he says is absolutely superfluous.
I take issue with these as well:
1) His text is in bubbles. That's a visual impact that stands out. Make note of the heavy contrast in color usage especially in the dialogue itself
, and how white is the reflection of all color, thus the most visually absent, and thus generally considered among the more striking part of the visual pallet.
2) Superfluity is in and of itself a device in literature. It's not wrong to use superfluity when you can use it justifiably, and I think I can justify it.
It's used to convey a point heavily. This page of the comic was not meant to be subtle, hence the use of words--but the methods by which the words were implemented should not be discounted as a part of the "showing and not telling" method quite as entirely as you seem to be suggesting.
The display of this page was constructed to be different than a normal page. You could remove his actual speech bubbles and the comic would have been more consistent with his show, not tell style.
Yes. The display of this page was constructed to be different than a normal page, but I disagree that the show, not tell style was merely abandoned. Admittedly reduced, but you are putting into terms some substantial aim for that to be wholly bad. The show and not tell, while reduced as said, did not go away entirely. It simply shifted to the nature of the text itself, given the subject matter that neither Bleedman nor myself would just let pass by us as if the comic could continue on normally, with the same concepts coming out.
Instead, having Hansel recall the conversation interspersed with interjections of Brave came across as awkward.
I take issue with the use of the word awkward. Awkward means unfitting. As in, this page's construction was unfitting, or in other words not carefully controlled and thus left a thematic gap in it, the page's, not the comic's, construction.
Perhaps you mean inconsistent with the rest of the comic only, in which case, I agree. It's meant to be.
(For instance, why did Hansel say "I think I saw King exchange nods" when King is right in the room?)
They were outside when he discussed the moment, but a small visual moment is overshadowed by a large movement. The nature of the exposition being used left us with small actions that were repeated visually: narrated. This page is being narrated by Hansel, with interjections from Bo. As a page of narration, the most subtle of movements was wasted as a visual image--and King himself is an issue that I will go into more detail with later. However, mentioning that the subtlety exists in the narration of a narration page is not subtle.
Personally, I would argue in fact that subtlety must be obvious in a story as a device when it is employed in order to make the reader's imagination speculate upon the nuances they can see in the subtlety, and what they mean. This being a non-subtle page, there is a note of discord I could only reduce. But I will return to that.
Plus, I don't see Brave as the type who would be spilling his guts. He wasn't noted for being verbose off panel, and it's hard to imagine Brave telling the Bravehearts all that Hansel said he did.
Brave leaving is not the type of thing he would be doing at all given his mystery, as you've described, and certainly not in the circumstances by which we conceived the comic years ago
And... Hansel said Brave didn't tell any of the other Brave Hearts on the page.
Bo, on the other hand, doesn't even seem to be asking any challenging questions, especially off given that she just attacked Hansel for not being concerned about her state of being.
She just learned that the person with which she personally had gone through the journey to find Hansel and Ginger had left her most likely forever without saying goodbye. What do you think she should have done? Immediately ran out of the hospital trying to find him?
While it may be more "realistic" for Bo to react this way, Bo is not a realistic character; she is over-the-top in her combative nature.
I take most extreme issue with this in particular: I do not care how over-the-top a character is, even in a combative way. She is in a hospital gown. She is in no position to be combative over lengthy periods of time. Her initial reaction was her most violent. She lost her violence eating; she became pensive upon understanding, with ambivalence, Robin's induction. Her anger had left her at this point.
Likewise Hansel has never been this pensive concerning goodbyes; even with his ordeal he didn't seem like the type to try to give meaning for the sudden goodbye, which is at odds as to how death/disappearance seems to work in Sugar Bits in any rate (it didn't even seem possible for these characters to leave without serious consequences).
Perhaps the presence of King in the room at the end help you grasp Hansel's position. Both of them put Bo through the physical ordeal she went through with Brave, but Hansel magnified the problem, and King only issued orders. Now we come to the tiny but inescapable point on which perhaps I would love to hear your advice.
I know I said the page wasn't subtle, but here's what I feel was my actual
failing with this comic: King himself. He came with the cavalry because he's in charge. King's entire purpose in this comic is a subtlety (if the spy cameras weren't an indication), so his mere presence is suggestion. I couldn't avoid his presence given his relationship to Brave. What do you think King should have done? Add a third voice in the narration to change the theme from a dialogue to a trialogue? Pros and cons, if that's okay to ask of you.
Also the "turned and walked away" phrase is unnecessary given that the panels show exactly that happening.
I take substantial issue with this: It was completely necessary. This is not a page that was meant to be entirely about the visuals of the character dynamics. It wasn't. It never could be given our circumstances. This page told you it was going to tell you, told you, and then told you that it told you. It was heavy narrative, and purposefully so.
Finally, the large final panel is dedicated to the grief of those left behind.
And to the resolution of the grief of those leaving.
While it's nice to give closure to the fans, at the same time it detracts from the larger overall story.
I take issue with this, and I will explain why when you set up a premise and I say that premise is not detracted.
The events of Sugar Bits are started in the grief of a princess over her departed mother and its effects. Putting the spotlight on Brave, who was a supporting character, and his dead sister just seems to take away from this, as instead of grief as a destructive catalyst it just exists for therapeutic purposes.
Or... it is a prelude to coming full circle, in order to end the story, during a moment of circumstance in the creation of this comic that inevitably leads back to the central conflict of Ginger's departure with her mother and merely reinforces the theme to come. Licorice was born, in part, from the destructive part of Ginger's grief, was she not?
I know that's a bit demanding of anyone to understand that given the uneven number of updates we do, especially given the circumstances, but before you judge this page, this
page on its own apparent discord with the rest of the comic, let us take the time to progress the comic to its conclusion.
And you know what? I will only ask you that for this comic. This one comic, Sugar Bits, ever, unless
Basically, it's not the what that bothers me (Brave going away forever), but the how.
Well! Now that I've just told you how I intended it to be done now, and hope that clears up at least a few of your discrepancies with this page's apparent lack of harmonious flow. Now let's get to what you meant when you said all you said, and consider a variable in the construction in the page that hasn't been talked about, because it's been my decisions I've been explaining, and I'm not the only person to make decisions with this comic.
If Brave left and the visuals led the story as they did the recent Sugar Bits pages, I'd be surprised but pleased.
Bleedman is the one who can omit anything I write. He didn't for this page. Consider that. I call him a bit naive, even dumb sometimes, why shouldn't you? So many people decry him, it should be easy to consider my failure, in part, his. I wonder what you think the artist considered when he saw what I wrote for this page. Visual ponderance?
No. This page was not solely nor in majority about visuals. It was the rare occasion of a comic page to be wordy, and maybe Bleedman actually saw those words as important. On the other hand, maybe he was just inaccurate again. The verbosity we're discussing is the sort of thing isn't actually discordant if it has follow-through. If - for the future - you have suggestions aside from "less words, more meaningful impacting art", I would love to hear them in earnest. Seriously, I am not trying to be snide, I would love good advice for getting this story done the right way.
I didn't begin it. I tried to help the middle of it. Then an end ended its end as it was meant to be ended, and now I have to end it. Any meme-sayers commenting on the preceding sentence will be rather rudely smacked.
Instead it seems like this page is trying to do two things at once -- write Brave out and provide a goodbye to the writer of the comic.
trying to do that. The first person to respond to this thread spoke of allegory. You understand the concept because I will assume you are a respectable, intelligent person.
If you'd like, I could explain what you are calling an overabundance of exposition in the page that you feel is discordant with the rest of the comic in relation to such a word, and perhaps why the word allegory was brought up at all. What parts of the exposition were direct comparisons to real acts by both the real grieved and the real grieving, I mean.
Or perhaps you would like to try, yourself, and see what my words in the page meant allegorically, if indeed allegory exists in the page.
That's about the long of it. My explanation, see (it's not short). Misery Chord, I hope I've helped make my intent behind this page, each and every single tiny thing that Bleedman and I did to make the page, more coherent to you in and of itself, if you still would set it apart from the entire story as too extensively discordant.