October 31st, 2012 by | Tags:

Part of fun of writing about comics, for me at least, is the competition. I don’t mean scrapping with scrubs or anything, either. I mostly mean competing against my friends. Gavin, who is currently without power and won’t see this until he’s back, has been my funniest friend for going on ten years now. No one throws shade like the late, lamented Pedro Tejeda, the ghost of Funnybook Babylon. No one is as well-reasoned as Jamaal Thomas. Nobody’s got an eye for comics history like Chris Eckert. Tucker Stone is the king of insight, and Abhay has punchlines that’ll stop you cold. All these dudes do things that I wish I could do better, and I really dig seeing them work their craft.

Sometimes, my friends will do things that make me jealous, as in this post by Sean Witkze called Away From Human Memory: Editing And Composition In Frank Miller’s ‘The Dark Knight Returns’. I got to read an earlier draft of it and it was good, but I’m still jealous.

Sean’s talking about how Miller controls the reader in Dark Knight Returns and Ronin, and it’s really good stuff. I know the basics of this stuff, how big panels make you do one thing and a stutter-y cascade of panels make you do another, but Sean turns jargon plain and lays everything bare, revealing new facets of works I thought I knew well. And I mean, I love Frank Miller’s body of work, I’ve been through these books dozens of times… but Sean is revealing the iceberg just beneath the water’s surface here.

It’s way deeper than “Frank Miller draws nice.”

Sean elevated the game. If you’re trying to figure out how comics work, to examine what a master did in a period when he dropped more classics than most people get in a lifetime, you should read it.

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