Been obsessed with The Go Team's "The Ice Storm" this weekend. A Christmas song released back in Summer, it's simply radiant.
Momentarily turning the Workblog into a MP3blog, you can download it from here. Song is provided purely for evaluation purposes, and you should go out and buy the thing if you want to keep it. At least, you shoudl go and buy their lovely album.
I also lobbed it up here as, as an idle exercise, I tried to convert this wordless song into a comic story - or at least write something that hits the same sort of emotions that it inspires in me. Listen to the track then compare and contrast.
Provisos: Hammered out quickly, so some language is sure to be a bit rough.
THE ICE STORM
Five Page width panels. Not necessarily equal sized.
Fading in from the whiteness: A girl’s face.
She’s beautiful, teenage, wearing a warm hat, with tightly bound pigtails. Her cheeks glow from the cold. We’re looking directly at her. Her eyes are shut, she looks tranquil. Beyond tranquil: radiant.
Full black lines now, but with a while-back drop still. Her eyes are still closed, with a private glorious smile.
White dots are in the foreground now, whirling around.
Pull out slightly. Girl is still standing in front of the white background, with her arms stretched out in what may appear to be a crucifix pose – except there’s a lack of self-consciousness about her. She’s enjoying the moment, the sensation of the cold against her skin. She thinks she’s alone. She doesn’t think anyone’s watching.
The white dots remain before her, only slightly obstructing our view.
Pull out even further. The white background is revealed to be a steep hillside, covered by virgin, untouched snow. The sky behind the hill is black, cut through with the twists of white.
She’s small, perfectly still in her stance, at the base of the hill, captured in her private rapture.
Largest image on the page.
The girl has started to spin on the spot, enthusiastically, eyes tightly pressed together. Take this from below her, caught in action. Motion lines could be one way to give the required impetus, but I think with the right pose we can get all the energy required in her, especially with the rest of the panel…
Above her, we have the black sky. The snowflake form a vortex above her, caught in a grand spiral with her at the centre. It should be almost be dizzying, like the view inside a snowglobe once you start it spinning around.
All this is shamelessly romantic. If we’re not in love with the girl by this point, we’ve failed.
Long thin panel, ground level. It’s a PoV shot from someone else. The girl’s still spinning in circles, arms outstretched. Small, towards the periphery of the panel, with the winter-scenery behind her. It’s a less romanticised panel, more grounded.
Reveal on who’s looking. It’s a boy, of a similar age. Dressed in winter attire, but still has that emo vibe to him. He looks at the girl with something approaching sadness and a touch of fear.
Similar sort of panel angle to 2.2, but while we keep the PoV of where the boy has gone, the boy has started to move forward towards the girl. We can see his footsteps in the snow leading to him from the foreground.
He’s approaching the girl.
Reverse that, and we’re now behind the still-madly spinning girl, watching the boy approach. He’s moving tentatively, quietly.
The girl’s falls to her kneels, back arced slightly. Her face is redder, steam coming off her body from the exertion. Her eyes are still closed.
She’s kneeling, steamy breaths rising up from her. He stands before her, hand half outreached. If he moved forward a step, he could touch her. By his expression we can tell that he’s considering whether he should.
Pull out considerably. The pair of them, full length, against the white background of the land and the black and white static of the sky. Lots of space either side of them. Panel should be the width of the page and go all the way to bleed. Her kneeling in the snow, him about to touch her.
Similar to last panel, essentially, but taking that moment and trying to extend it.
Three rows of panels.
On the girl’s face. Her eyes are closed. If her lips are on the panel, she’s smiling.
On this panel, we have transposed several images. In the foreground, breaking the boundary of the panel, we have a single large snowflake. The images continue its fall, away from us, and onto the girl’s face. It eventually lands on the corner of the eye.
The impression should be the Snowflake arriving from outside the moment, thanks to the crossing of the boundary.
Back on the boy. He too, for the first time, smiles, sentimentalism cutting through his anxiety.
Three small panels. On the snowflake, resting on her upper cheek, at the corner of her eye.
4.3 The snowflake rests there.
4.4 It’s started to deform.
4.5 And the snowflake melts, forming a single droplet at the corner of her eye.
The girl’s face, pulled out slightly. She still has the still happiness of an angel, but now a single fat tear is running down her cheek.
On the boy, eyes tightly shut. Something’s struck him hard. He’s biting back real tears of his own.
Page width panel. The girl opens her eyes. She’s impossibly happy. She /glows/.
Pull up and away. We’re looking at the scene from above. She’s kneeling near the centre of the panel, looking around. The snowy landscape is untouched, apart from a set of footsteps leading up to her from the left, and leading away from her to the right.
In the foreground, snow still moves in lazy spirals, falling to earth.
Kieron Gillen's Workblog, foo'.