Composition (revist)

This is a page 4 from the Judge Dredd strip Dragon’s Den (which, I’ve coloured up myself here).

I’d really love another stab at this page – specifically I’d redo the composition.

The original pose is somewhat stiff, the fact that it’s Dredd dressed as a Knight (in a suit of off cuts of metal and wire) meant that the concept carried it a lot. But, as you can see from the simplified sketch of the page – the figure is stiff (the blue line represents the ‘action’-line or spine, it’s pretty dead straight, the figure itself forms a boxy shape – helped by the staff). A redone sketch simply massages some of those elements, but really helps a great deal – here the action line is a slight curve adding a little dynamisim to the pose. Dredd’s chin is held up – giving him more of a heroic look, and the staff is held at an angle giving the composition a triangular shape.

They’re little things, but they help.



Al Ewing very kindly pointed out that, in the context of the original script – the square dredd makes perfect sense (and, is, in fact, the better of the two poses). In the story Dredd suits up and is COMPLETELY unaware of how much of a Knight he looks (all the while, the narrative suggests that a Brave Knight will come and slay the dragon – in the form of a prophecy).

Still, it’s interesting to note how little needs to be changed in body language for the story to be changed – the more dynamic pose, in the context of the story is just too knowing – too much like Dredd striking a pose (possibly a good cover, though…)

Author: PJ

Belfast based Comic Artist who won’t shut up on twitter.