By Darryl Ayo
Okay, I’m going to switch my style up a little bit. The page above is NOT the first page of Ran Brown’s webcomic THE END. It’s actually the fifth page.
What really grabbed my attention about this particular page was the funny thing that Brown does with time and space in the bottom tier of panels. In this first chapter, the aliens have landed their craft in the middle of nowhere and this is the page in which they travel to a populated area. We can see that they have cloaked their craft and now they’re traveling over fields, suburbs and eventually a city. The perspective of the buildings is different in each panel of the sequence, to indicate that these are different scenes, rather than one continuous view. However the ghostly trail of the “invisible” spacecraft appears to us as a continuous stream. Every wave and ripple in this trail flows and continues from panel to panel even though the foreground buildings are decidedly far apart and disjointed.
It’s a non-literal depiction of two ideas. The first is that the spacecraft is flying along a single path. The second idea is that the craft is crossing a significant distance. What’s fun is the way that these ideas are depicted; they can’t both be happening at the same time and yet they are. It’s a comics miracle! In four panels, we get from the farm fields to the farm, to the suburbs, to the city. And away we go.
THE END (c) Ran Brown.