April 9, 2009 - Bad Goods Ch 02 Pg 04
Bad Goods Ch 02 Pg 04

Bad Goods Ch 02 Pg 04

As I look at it now, I’m not sure about using the dotted-line balloon for Ril’s whispering, especially coupled with regular-sized text. I wonder if it would work better as just smaller text in a normal balloon.

I like that this page introduces the dynamic that they all haven’t been working together for that long. So instead of readers coming into a situation where everyone’s already buddy-buddy and totally comfortable with each other, there’s some slight tension between some of the characters, and that makes the group dynamic a bit more interesting to me.

An fascinating thing I read a long time ago was that the writers on Star Trek: The Next Generation had a horrible time writing for the main characters. Since Roddenberry’s concept was for a future where everyone in Starfleet had the same agenda and didn’t have petty differences, the writers had a hard time making the character interactions interesting because they ALL got along! Thus, there was no internal conflict among the crew to mine.

I believe Ensign Ro was eventually added to spice things up by having someone who didn’t have the same agenda and attitude as everyone else. And then with Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (one of my all-time favorite TV shows and a big influence on RUNNERS), they went and made a LOT of the characters varied in their differences, and I think that made the cast much more interesting to watch interact.

Discussion (9)¬

  1. Mike says:

    I didn’t realize that he was whispering… I wasn’t sure the purpose of the dotted lines. Maybe the smaller text would work. How about lighter (more gray) text? Italics? Not sure the best way to indicate whispering…

    Enjoying the comic, keep up the good work.

  2. Sean Wang says:

    Yeah, I thought the dotted balloon worked at the time but not so much now. I’d be hesitant to use lighter (gray) text since that might look like a printing error. But I think smaller text would work. Come to think of it, I could have conveyed it in the art as well, maybe having Ril’s mouth open just a tiny bit on one side and having him squinting and looking back at Cember to convey the distrust.

    Oh well. Maybe next time Ril needs to whisper something to Roka about Cember while Cember’s right there next to them. And knowing Ril, the occasion will certainly present itself again…

  3. Peggy says:

    We’re having technical difficulties–sorry! But we will have this comic page back up shortly.

  4. I thought the dotted lines worked fine, even though you might not know what it means you know it means something. Maybe it means talking in a different /language/ or but most likely it means whispering. Smaller font and tighter balloons would've have conveyed the idea of a "weak" voice better

  5. I think dotted line and smaller text, as at the bottom of http://runnersuniverse.com/?p=491 (maybe a little less small, though) works well.

  6. Lurch says:

    I agree.. dotted line/balloon does indicate SOME form of non-standard communication. I’ve seen other authors use a .. finer font to indicate the whisper.. a little smaller (say, 9 point instead of 10) and with a finer structure – half-width strokes. That sorta thing.

    More thoughts well after the fact and way too late to really help

  7. Kit Brown says:

    So something I’ve noticed for awhile and was curious about:

    For the majority of the comic, Ril refers to Cember on a “Last name only” basis, except for this page right here. So far this is the only page in all of RUNNERS to have Ril actually refer to Cember by his first name, and I was curious as to why?

    Like, is his “If I have to say your name, I’m only calling you Kogi” mindset only in place whenever Cember can actually /hear/ him, and any other time he had no problem calling him by his first name? Or is it more tied to his level of seriousness/grumpiness at the particular moment, orrr…?

    Probably a silly little thing to be curious about, but it had me wondering all the same, haha <8'D

    • Sean Wang says:

      So sorry about the long delay in response. This came in during a super busy time in my schedule and then got buried. Ack!

      Anyway, that’s a really interesting observation. To be honest, I wrote this so long ago that I don’t recall if I had a specific reason for Ril referring to Cember by first name in this one instance. I’m curious now to re-read the whole series (which I haven’t done in a while!) to see if you are right about him always using “Kogi.” I assume you ARE right though! 🙂

      I imagine what you guessed is what I had in mind: he uses “Kogi” when talking directly to him or within earshot of him to keep him at a distance. But Roka doesn’t have that relationship with Cember and considers him a friend (or at least a trustworthy partner), so Ril might on occasion refer to him as “Cember” when talking to Roka in private, since that’s how Roka refers to him. But again, I’d have to re-check my work to see if that’s what I had in mind!

      I do remember though that I had concerns about Ril using Cember’s last name, at least early on in the series. I know going into a new series, there are always a lot of new names to learn and it’s a bit of work remembering who’s who. I was worried that if everyone referred to Cember as “Cember” and then one character used “Kogi,” readers wouldn’t know they were the same person and would be confused. But ultimately, I did decide that it just fit Ril’s abrasive character to use “Kogi,” so I went with what felt right for the character.