Great for a panel!

Two years ago I threw away my TV and my cable box. I only watch stuff on the computer, YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon are my channels now. Every so often I find the way an image is set up would work well for a comic book panel. I'm always looking for pointers. So, here goes...

... what follows is a series of screen grabs of moments of the shows I've been watching that would work out great for a comic book if an artist were to copy the faces, expressions, lighting, composition etc.

The Wire

OMG! This show was one of the best ever. Each and every character and situation was so incredibly believable and relatable. A rotating story concerning crime and the drug problem in inner city Baltimore in the early 2000s. Here's Frank Sobotka, a third generation Polish dockside head of the Union of Stevedores, in charge of loading and off loading cargo ships. Time's are tough, and his son Ziggy's latched on to stealing/fencing digital cameras. Being a foolish jerk, Ziggy shows off to all his friends one of the cameras. His father catches wind of this, and reprimands him.

Here he's sharply scolding Zig of his behavior. "SAY CHEESE!"

The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

A man (Joel) goes to a clinic to erase the memory of his girlfriend. They can do this, but first they need him to bring in all the items in his apartment associated with her. He undergoes the procedure, it's like a big MRI scan into his brain, picking out the random bits of memory. Unbeknownst to him, his girlfriend (Clementine) did just the same thing to him a day or two previously.

Here we see a flashback when Clementine's not too happy about the new relationship. She's pondering her future. Look how Kate Winslet's able to convey that just with a vacant stare! This is the face when an artist who needs to capture ennui or melancholy should key in on.

Thirteen Days

It's 1962 October. Missiles have been spotted being built in Cuba. President Kennedy must act quickly before they are armed nuclear weapons. He has just a few days (hence the title). This image though is all business, something a credible artist should keep in mind. The composition, a scene with a secretary (not the President's, but a fairly high placed person) making a phone call to another important person. Moments later the door will burst open.

To a comic book artist, this is a master work of composition and structure. I like the woman's turned head, the ominous door knob in center.

Sons of Anarchy

Bobbie Elvis riding his Harley, getting ready to stop. I always thought Mark Boone Jr. was the only cast member who actually looked like a biker. The weight of his bike is felt even though it's almost completely cropped off the image. The slight leaning down to the left indicates he's coming to a stop.

Bobbie has a harsh, road weary look to his face. The frizzy hair only heightens that effect.

In conclusion...

It's helpful to pay attention to what you watch on your screen, and to take notes whenever you can of images that may inspire you.

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