Let’s Review: Page One
I want to start doing something down here in the blog section. Now that STAR POWER is approaching its fifth anniversary at the end of May, I’d say it’s a fine time to start looking back on all the stories we’ve told and all the pages we’ve updated! Many of these pages have stories behind them, so let’s start telling some behind-the-scenes tales. I’ll call these blog entries “Let’s Review” until I can think of a more clever title.
(Okay, so technically the chapter cover was the first page we posted, but for the purposes of this blog we’ll call the first page of panels and dialogue the “first.”)
As Frank Herbert said in DUNE, “a beginning is a very delicate time.” First impressions are very important and can be hard to shake if they’re negative. The first page of STAR POWER had to introduce our new protagonist and make readers want to know more about her, so I had to create a scene that showcased what I thought was an endearing aspect of her personality. I also had to tease the setting of our new story without giving everything away in an “In a world…” exposition dump. After toying with a few ideas, I settled on the one we produced.
Looking back now on that first page, I think we did a good job. We introduced Danica in such a way that revealed her to be both intuitive and compassionate; intuitive in her desire to point the Renzalon Telescope where her gut was leading her, and compassionate in giving the seemingly unremarkable star a name to make it more special. We also managed to introduce Dr. Brightman as an authority figure in her life with little more information than “she works for her.” Showing, not telling, is among the most effective storytelling tools.
I was very nervous and excited for the update of this first page. I felt that people who were coming over from the conclusion of my previous webcomic, Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire, expected a lot from me in terms of characters. People had come to know that cast of characters over the comic’s eleven year run, and I wasn’t sure if they were expecting me to do that very same thing all over again. On the other hand, after eleven years with the same cast I was excited to start playing with new characters in a new setting.
A beginning is a very delicate time, but learning to handle things carefully is an invaluable learning experience.