View Poll Results: Decompression or a six-panel grid?

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  • A six-panel grid

    2 22.22%
  • Continued decompression

    1 11.11%
  • Don't know / Unsure

    0 0%
  • Something else (please specify in a post)

    6 66.67%
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  1. #1

  2. #2
    Chosen One Carabas's Avatar
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    Those aren't opposite or even related concepts.

    It is perfectly feasible to be decompressed as frell in a six panel grid.
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  3. #3
    Rebel that Rebels BeastieRunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carabas View Post
    Those aren't opposite or even related concepts.

    It is perfectly feasible to be decompressed as frell in a six panel grid.
    Yeah, I'm confused, too.

    Does the OP mean decompression vs. one-and-done comics?
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  4. #4
    Extraordinary Member Trey Strain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carabas View Post
    Those aren't opposite or even related concepts.

    It is perfectly feasible to be decompressed as frell in a six panel grid.
    Writers will tend to get a lot more story told in six panels than in the 3.5 panels or so that Geoff Johns and many others depict per page.

  5. #5
    Extraordinary Member Trey Strain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeastieRunner View Post
    Yeah, I'm confused, too.

    Does the OP mean decompression vs. one-and-done comics?
    Read my above reply to Carabas. More panels per page will strongly tend to get more story told per issue.

  6. #6
    Chosen One Carabas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trey Strain View Post
    Writers will tend to get a lot more story told in six panels than in the 3.5 panels or so that Geoff Johns and many others depict per page.
    Warren Ellis once did an entire series that called "Fell" that stuck to a 9 panel grid. Take a guess on whether it was decompressed.
    Proper decompression NEEDS a ton of panels to work properly.

    You don't even understand what you dislike and Geoff Johns doesn't do anything even vaguely resembling decompression.

    Last edited by Carabas; 06-06-2018 at 01:53 PM.
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  7. #7
    Extraordinary Member Trey Strain's Avatar
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    I'm talking about OVERSIZED PANELS. How many comics today follow a nine-panel grid? Your objection is irrelevant to the problem of oversized panels.

    Comics are down to just 18 pages now -- with a splash panel on Page 1 and Page 18, and Pages 2-17 divided into panels.

    Do the math. With about 3.5 panels per page, that comes to about 60 panels on Pages 2-17. But with 6 panels per page, you'd get about 102 panels on Pages 2-17.

    You MIGHT be able to tell just as little story in 60 panels as you could tell in 102 panels, but you'd have to work real, real hard to find a way to do that. Even Warren Ellis would find it hard to do that.

    This is not complicated. But then again, you can't solve a problem until you admit you've got one, and you're not admitting there's a problem.

    Comics could stick with the status quo that you're defending, in which readers are rightly objecting that they're not getting four dollars' worth of entertainment from comic books. But why should they do that? There really is a problem here.

  8. #8
    Chosen One Carabas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trey Strain View Post
    I'm talking about OVERSIZED PANELS. How many comics today follow a nine-panel grid? Your objection is irrelevant to the problem of oversized panels.

    Comics are down to just 18 pages now -- with a splash panel on Page 1 and Page 18, and Pages 2-17 divided into panels.

    Do the math. With about 3.5 panels per page, that comes to about 60 panels on Pages 2-17. But with 6 panels per page, you'd get about 102 panels on Pages 2-17.

    You MIGHT be able to tell just as little story in 60 panels as you could tell in 102 panels, but you'd have to work real, real hard to find a way to do that. Even Warren Ellis would find it hard to do that.

    This is not complicated.
    22 pages, 9 panels per page. The more panels you have the easier it is to decompress. You can't decompress a story if your book doesn't have enough panels. And Fell was a series of one and done stories.

    Hell, Bendis just loves his 20 panel pages.

    This is not complicated.
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  9. #9
    Extraordinary Member Trey Strain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carabas View Post
    22 pages, 9 panels per page. The more panels you have the easier it is to decompress. You can't decompress a story if your book doesn't have enough panels. And Fell was a series of one and done stories.

    Hell, Bendis just loves his 20 panel pages.

    This is not complicated.
    Oh my goodness.

    So the more panels there are in a comic, the less story that will be told within that comic.

    If that's true, then they should just put one panel on each page. Then they could really tell a lot of story in each issue. Right?

    This is a revolutionary discovery you've made here. And it's all the more impressive because it's so... so... counter-intuitive!

  10. #10
    Chosen One Carabas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trey Strain View Post
    Oh my goodness.

    So the more panels there are in a comic, the less story that will be told within that comic.
    No. There is no real link between the number of panels and the amount of story.

    If that's true, then they should just put one panel on each page. Then they could REALLY tell a lot of story in each issue. Right?
    It's unconventional but certainly possible. See Batman #663: “The Clown at Midnight”.
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  11. #11
    Extraordinary Member Trey Strain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Carabas View Post
    No. There is no real link between the number of panels and the amount of story.


    It's unconventional but certainly possible. See Batman #663: “The Clown at Midnight”.
    You don't sound nearly as scornful as you did a while ago, so that's progress. But you're still not ready to admit there's a correlation between the number of panels in an issue and the amount of story that gets told.

    So let me break it down even more for you. Will you admit there's any correlation between the number of pages that a writer uses and the amount of story that gets told?

    I have to warn you that that's a trick question, because if more story tends to get told in more pages, then more story also tends to get told in more panels.

  12. #12
    Chosen One Carabas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trey Strain View Post
    So let me break it down even more for you. Will you admit there's any correlation between the number of pages that a writer uses and the amount of story that gets told?
    Yes and no.

    Five pages of Grant Morrison will generally contain a lot more story than ten pages of Bendis.
    But five pages of Grant Morrison will contain less story than ten pages of Grant Morrison.

    Actually, replace the word story with plot here, because in a good decompressed book a lot of story can be told and information conveyed without any real moving forward of the plot.

    Of course any half-decent writer will laugh in your face when you try to chain her or him to a six panel grid.
    Last edited by Carabas; 06-06-2018 at 03:06 PM.
    "One may be intelligent, and a Nazi. Then one is not decent. One may be decent and a Nazi. Then one is not intelligent. And one may be intelligent and decent. Then one is not a Nazi"
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  13. #13
    Fantastic Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trey Strain View Post
    You don't sound nearly as scornful as you did a while ago, so that's progress. But you're still not ready to admit there's a correlation between the number of panels in an issue and the amount of story that gets told.

    So let me break it down even more for you. Will you admit there's any correlation between the number of pages that a writer uses and the amount of story that gets told?

    I have to warn you that that's a trick question, because if more story tends to get told in more pages, then more story also tends to get told in more panels.
    If there is correlation, it's a weak one. It also fails to answer the question if (a) the story is of good quality, or if (b) the story gets the length it needs to be told well: not less, not more.

    Looking at comics, I believe it is much more fruitful to treat panels as sentences (or possibly paragraphs) rather than as words. Larger panels equals more words per sentence, or longer paragraphs. But it has nothing to do with decompression, as I understand the concept.

    What you might be after is story-telling density, but that is also only weakly linked to the number of panels. Larger panels give more scope for world-building details and developments in the background, as well as body language. Varying the size of panels give possibilities for emphasis and adjusting the storytelling tempo. A rigid or semi-rigid panel setup gives similarities to formal poetry, with a set rhythm. Varying the amount of empty space on pages can be used for focusing or as filler.

    In the end, a lot of this comes down to "a simple story, well told". It matters more what is in the panels than their simple number, just as the chosen words in a story matters more than the number of words or sentences.

  14. #14
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    While I would like to see less decompression in comics, we might be confusing story with format.

    You can tell a story with a beginning middle and end with only one page and a 9 panel grid.

    Or you can do a 9 panel grid and show nothing but a person opening a door.

  15. #15
    Astonishing Member dancj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trey Strain View Post
    Oh my goodness.

    So the more panels there are in a comic, the less story that will be told within that comic.

    If that's true, then they should just put one panel on each page. Then they could really tell a lot of story in each issue. Right?

    This is a revolutionary discovery you've made here. And it's all the more impressive because it's so... so... counter-intuitive!
    I think the problem here is your basic (but quite common) misunderstanding of the term "decompression".

    Decompression is about using a lot of panels to tell your story to provide a better flow to the story. You can have a 50 panel page - and it could still be decompressed (probably will be with that many panels).

    What you really seem to be complaining about is comics having a low number of panels per page - which is a different subject.

    The reality is though that you can't break down the value of a comic by the number of panels or even words. An easy example is The Planetary. I can't remember how many actual panels there are per issue, but I do remember that they were very quick comics to read. They weren't light though. They were full of information. If you look at any articles on the web which break the down comic and point out there various references, there are a huge amount of things going on in every page of the book - between the dialogue and the details in the art and various other techniques that Ellis and Cassaday use. It's to their credit they were able to be so economical to get across that amount of information without making each issue take half an hour to read.

    So basically, your poll is missing an option for "I'd like to let the creators use whatever techniques they feel work best to tell the best story they can".

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