Issue Three, Page Eight

August 10, 2020 in Issue Three
Issue Three, Page Eight
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Author Notes:

MattSchofield 10th Aug 2020, 9:00 AM
I wasn't super-enthused about this page as I started it, but I'm pretty happy with how it ended up.

The first panel was kind of fun. Since the characters were so small in the panel, I was forced to keep it low in detail, and focus on only what was needed to convey the story point. This is the second time I've used "PAF" as a sound effect (here's the first), and this comes directly from all the Asterix comics I read as a kid. Goscinny and Uderzo would use that sound effect a lot when a Roman legionnaire got hit. I always liked it. It was so different from the "POW" or "BIFF" you'd normally see in American comics. I can't be certain but my schoolboy French has me thinking it would be pronounced more like "puff" by a French speaker. I still pronounce it with the flat "a" sound like in "cat", though.

The drawing on this page went relatively quickly, allowing me to retain the momentum I feel I built up while working on the previous double-page spread. I'm sure the lack of backgrounds helped. I normally don't like to leave the backgrounds out of so many panels on a page, but in this case it didn't feel like it needed them. The compositions of each panel told the story well enough with just the characters. Of course, the building starting to break apart in the last panel was a story point, so a background was necessary.

I also read a tip somewhere this week about composing comic pages, which advised artists to compare the size of a character's head from panel to panel - a good variation in size from panel to panel, and across the page, meant that the composition held more visual interest. So I decided to try and put that into practice here. In my original layout, panel three was a medium shot of Paige, cropped at the waist. She was doing a cool hand gesture, and I really like drawing hands, but she was about the same size as she is in panel two. So I decided to enlarge her to close-up size for the sake of the composition. I think it worked.

Thanks for reading! If you're enjoying Steamroller Man, spread the word and tell a friend!


Amazing Chris Godbey 10th Aug 2020, 9:20 AM
Amazing Chris Godbey
Man, this comic continues to be fantastic with every update! Also, nice use of Kirby Krackle in the final panel!
MattSchofield 10th Aug 2020, 9:23 AM
Thank you Chris!
daysofsuturepast 10th Aug 2020, 9:33 AM
Nice! And that’s a pretty good tip about the head sizes- I’ll have to try that out.
MattSchofield 10th Aug 2020, 9:34 AM
Yeah, it was certainly an art tip that I had never heard before, but it made total sense.
Mrremoraman 10th Aug 2020, 10:06 AM
God I love this comic! Steam Roller Man's dialogue reminds me of the Tick: he's so lovably hapless!
Peter Wulfdane 10th Aug 2020, 10:41 AM
Peter Wulfdane
Yeah, I'll take the story any old day. :) 11th Aug 2020, 6:41 AM
Changing the head size is a good effect. The first three panels focus attention on Paige very nicely and give an impression of motion as she rolls and stands up. Panel four showcases the size of Steamroller Man's head (it doesn't even fit in the frame) in a way that a background would only detract from.

If a person is invulnerable while in contact with Steamroller Man, what happens if he punches someone? Does contact with his fist make them invulnerable? Could he use Paige as a battering ram without hurting her?

Would the possibility ever occur to him?
MattSchofield 11th Aug 2020, 8:12 AM
Thanks for the kind words on the page composition, I'm glad it worked for you.

I appreciate that the story has engaged you enough to spur questions about how his powers work. I don't want to get too literal or "realistic" (whatever that means in the context of a fantasy comic) on this topic, so I'll just say - no, punching someone does not transfer his power to the person he punches.

The battering ram question is a bit bizarre and I think I'll just say that Steamroller Man himself is basically a battering ram so I'm not sure why he would want to turn someone else into one... And again, that's not how it works, you're over-thinking it. 12th Aug 2020, 1:36 PM
I think you know where I'm coming from... remember the excuses DC retconned for why Superman's /costume/ is invulnerable, or why Lois Lane never noticed he looked exactly like Clark Kent, etc. Every retroactive explanation just made it worse, of course.

In role playing games you have to think about how supernatural powers can be abused, because there will always be a player who wants to polymorph an enemy's intestinal bacterium into a rhino or build a perpetual motion machine with zombies.
MattSchofield 12th Aug 2020, 4:28 PM
Yes, I want to stay away from too much unnecessary explaining - one of the major gags of this comic so far, the Steve Rollerman identity, with his huge glasses, springs directly from the absurdity of the Clark Kent concept you mentioned.
Don't get me wrong, I am a real believer in the inherent absurdity of superhero comics, I don't see those things as bad at all, I think they're part of the charm of the genre. We don't, and frankly shouldn't, need explanations for why Lois can't recognize a person with glasses, why Bruce Banner's pants don't rip off when he becomes the Hulk, or where Batman gets the tires for the Batmobile. To me, looking for explanations for that stuff is as pointless as asking how Harry Potter's wand works, or why the Road Runner is able to run into a trompe l'oeil painting of a tunnel. Fantasy stops being fantasy once you start trying to look for explanations.

Also, Steamroller Man is a comedy, and comedy never gets funnier by adding logic.
Miaubol 12th Aug 2020, 1:57 AM
But of course we haven't seen the last of that portal thing yet. Someone please do something very quickly now, or the entire city will be gone. Or, should I rather say, the world? ;D

... errm, was that even a result of Steamroller's escape stunt? o.O

(I agree, those panels without background speed up the pace, adding more detail to them would just "slow them down")
dougwarner59 13th Aug 2020, 12:11 PM
another great page.
MattSchofield 13th Aug 2020, 12:16 PM
Thanks Doug!
DTBuckle 13th Aug 2020, 3:36 PM
This comic is HILARIOUS!!! My friends and I have been reading it out loud together and we can't stop laughing!
"Steamroller Power...
Is literally my favorite catchphrase (and page to read aloud)! Thank you for this Forthright Fifth Wheel of Justice! Can't wait to read more!
MattSchofield 13th Aug 2020, 5:25 PM
That's so awesome! Thanks for reading, and thanks for sharing it with friends and spreading the word! I'm so glad you're all enjoying it so far! More to come!