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Steamroller Man
Issue Three
Issue Three, Page Two and Three

Steamroller Man

Starting from Comic #88: Issue Three, Page Two and Three
Issue Three, Page Two and Three
This page took a while to get working, but I’m really happy with how it turned out, because it enabled me to do a few comic-making things that I’ve always wanted to try.

My idea for this gag was to play on the contrast between the two characters, but the best visual approach was not immediately obvious. At first I was going to try and fit it on a single page, with multiple panels, but as I started to rough out the idea, I happily realized it would work best as a single, double-page image.

In Jack Kirby’s 1970s work, he would often start a comic story with a full-page splash image on page one, and immediately follow it up with a double-page splash image on pages two and three. Like a visual one-two punch, Jack was pulling out all the stops to knock the reader’s socks off! As I read his stories in comics like Kamandi and The Demon, where he used this technique in almost every issue, I can almost hear Jack saying “you think that first page was good? Well get a load o’ THIS!”
A storytelling solution that also paid homage to one of my artistic idols - awesome!

The second visual device I happily found a place for on this page was the circular panel in the upper left corner. This is something you don’t see too often in modern comics. I think I first encountered them in The Rocketeer, by another of my cartooning idols, Dave Stevens. You can see an example of it on one of his Rocketeer pages, here. The circular panel has a particular feeling to it, and I’m not entirely sure why. Perhaps because of the way that it breaks the visual rhythm of the usual rectangular grid in a way that causes the reader’s brain to shift gears and refocus their attention. I’ve wanted to use a circular panel for a long time, but it wasn’t easy to find a place where one would fit. I really like how it works on this page.

The third piece of comic-making language that was on my “gotta try someday” list was using multiple images of a character against a single background to depict motion and the passage of time, or as I recently learned it was called, the DeLuca Effect, named for the Italian cartoonist Gianni DeLuca, who used it extensively in a graphic novel adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Here’s a great blog post on this cool storytelling technique by writer Paul Gravett, if you’re interested in diving down a fascinating rabbit hole. I’ve seen this effect used many times in superhero comics, and it always looks very cool, especially when characters are in a variety of different poses. This never seemed quite right for anything I’ve had Steamroller Man doing so far, but it felt right for Night Knight, here.

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Reader Comments

Hey Steve! You're supposed to roll with it!
Man...poor Steve's landing makes my neck hurt just looking at it...

Fantastic page as always! Personally I think your work ranks right up there with Kirby and Stevens and all the rest. And your writing and sense of comedy is absolute genius.
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