Just over a year ago, while discussing what makes a comic, and in, particular the occasional requirement to distill a story into just the most essential elements; Scott McCloud’s 2006 graphic novel Making Comics came up. Specifically chapter one: writing with pictures. Also, chapter three: blood in the gutter of his ground breaking book on the subject Understanding Comics was discussed. In both cases the general idea being examined has to do with how many comic panels would be needed to convey a given story. Conversely, one could ask what’s the minimum amount of panels can one use to tell a story?
It’s a question a asked the author of those books directly.
A look at the late nite tweet reveals the nature of the conversation and spirit of the initial tweet. A reply was not expected.
Even more surprising were the replies . . .
The conversation continued . . .
I’m reminded of Kurt Vonnegut’s grad school project where he tried to graph story shapes. https://t.co/idEFCZoyMr— chancerubbage (@chancerubbage) October 17, 2020
It took some time but eventually my version was completed.
What do you think? Was the story told? How was it that different creators would choose six different panels? What do you think yours would look like? Download this template and give it a try.
Here’s an idea. Now that it’s out you can opt to adapt the movie as well. What would it look like to use only 6 panels to tell the story of . . .