avram: (Default)
[personal profile] avram

I’m finally getting around to reading Digger, and not really enjoying it much, to tell you the truth. But I’m still fairly near the beginning (just started Chapter 2), and maybe it gets better later on. Anyway, I’m trying to figure something out. Could someone tell me what’s going on in this panel here?

mystery panel

Here’s the whole page. I get what’s going on before and after that panel, the action of the page in general. But I can’t figure that one panel out. Here are the possible readings I’ve come up with:

  1. Digger is moving her left hand (the one not holding the pickaxe) horizontally for some reason. For a moment I thought maybe she was pulling a cover off of the pickaxe head, but the thing I thought might’ve been the cover I now think is just part of her vest. I can’t think of any other reason for her to be swinging her arm like that; she winds up with her hand behind her, which makes it less effective for the move she makes in the next panel.
  2. Digger is swinging her pickaxe back and forth. (The speed lines continue past the pickaxe on either side, so it would have to be a back-and-forth motion.) Seems plausible, but her right arm doesn’t seem positioned plausibly for the full extension that would be necessary for the head of the pickaxe to follow that arc. And this still doesn’t explain why her left arm is behind her.
  3. Digger just threw the pickaxe from her left hand (where we see it in the first panel) to her right. This connects the first and fourth panels, and accounts for the pickaxe moving from one hand to the other, but again, it’s weak as a prelude to the action in panel five (she’s using both hands for the pickaxe anyway; why waste time and risk dropping it to switch hands?). Also, the speedlines depict an arc of horizontal movement; a thrown pickaxe would have to arc vertically. And this reading doesn’t explain why the speedlines are continuing past the head of the pickaxe.

Also, when does the actual story start? Like I said, just started Chapter 2, maybe 70 or 80 pages in, and the characters are still just wandering around chatting. I’m thinking Ursula Vernon would have benefited from the discipline of publishing in pamphlet form. Cerebus started out crude, but that first 22-page issue contained a full story.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-08-08 02:25 am (UTC)
ext_12542: My default bat icon (Default)
From: [identity profile] batwrangler.livejournal.com
Digger is sitting down with the axe in her left hand in the first panel, so I think what happened is that she took the axe from her left hand with her right hand and swung it back to her right while using her now-free left hand to push up off the floor.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-08-08 02:33 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agrumer.livejournal.com
Maybe. That still leaves unexplained the speedlines continuing past the pickaxe's head.

Still, if so, that's some really damn lazy artwork.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-08-08 03:56 am (UTC)
ext_12542: My default bat icon (Default)
From: [identity profile] batwrangler.livejournal.com
I read part of Digger in real time, so I'm inclined to consider flaws as the result of real life and deadlines rather than laziness.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-08-08 04:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agrumer.livejournal.com
Yeah, that's usually how lazy work happens.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-08-08 06:58 am (UTC)
mneme: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mneme
It's pretty clearly a speedline for her right hand. So I'm guessing it's her getting her arm back and bracing herself for the leap she makes in the next panel.

The story starts in the first panel of the comic, and doesn't stop until the last panel, where the comic ends. Unlike Cerebus, it doesn't have a set of mostly unrelated plot arcs or joke strips -- every character introduced and developed in the first 200 pages of the comic is crucial to how things work out in the end, and the events the comic starts with set the stage for the later climaxes in a very direct fashion.



(no subject)

Date: 2012-08-08 07:53 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agrumer.livejournal.com
Yeah, I'm sure there are things that are important later, but when does the story start?

Like, still taking Cerebus as a counter-example, even though issue #1 contained a complete story, the story of Cerebus doesn't really start till, oh, either issue #14 (he meets Lord Julius) or #26 (he comes to Iest). Even though elements introduced earlier turn up again (and it's pretty amazing how many minor things from the early one-off stories turn up again later, like Cerebus's helmet), it's not till the political plotlines start that Cerebus stops being a series of stories and starts being a story.

At the point I'm at in Digger, I don't have either of those. I haven't gotten the closure of short-length stories, and I don't have the feeling that the plot of the larger story has started.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-08-08 01:21 pm (UTC)
mneme: (Default)
From: [personal profile] mneme
And I'm telling you that despite not having a feeling for the shape of it, the plot of the larger story -has- started. It started on page one.

By P50, Digger has arrived in a mysterious tunnel, met and befriended the Shadowchild, and started entangling with the hyena-people -- all the beginning of big elements of the larger story.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-08-08 05:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] agrumer.livejournal.com
Ooof. That's not encouraging.

(no subject)

Date: 2012-08-08 06:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] drcpunk.livejournal.com
It may not be the sort of story you like. And, as you're not reading it for the Hugos, it's totally cool if you decide you've had enough.

But, yes, the story has started. Once upon a time, there was a wombat named Digger (well, Digger-of-Unnecessarily-Convoluted-Tunnels, but just "Digger" was fine with her) who got lost very far from home.

I think the art does improve as the story continues, but I'm a bit art-blind. I don't think it's as bad as my jazz-deafness (where jazz, well, yes, it's music and all, but one piece sounds pretty much like another to me). I agree that "artist / author had a deadline" is an explanation, not a pass for substandard work.

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