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Writing this multi-part storyline was a change and a challenge from scripting a single issue. It was necessary to keep track of quite a few characters, plots and sub plots. Plus it was necessary to provide ‘hooks’ or an exciting ending at the end of each issue, to encourage readers to come back for the remaining parts. I also had to make sure that characters were introduced to readers, so they knew who was who and reference their previous appearances via footnotes. And provide a summary to what had gone before for each issue.
Once I had decided on the main plot and sub-plots, I found it easier to write the script for each storyline separately and then break it down into two or three parts. I then made some script amendments so everything followed on from one issue to the next.
The weather in the Guard’s world is usually dry, calm or snowy, so I thought it was time to experiment with different types of weather. In the latter half of this issue I introduced windy conditions. (Mentioned on the front page of the Yorkton Courier, page one of issue 48). For this part of the story, I used a similar technique to the one I used in issue 30 Single to Hangman’s Noose. That is shooting the scene in the restaurant and background scenes separately and then combining the two together. The building in the background scene is from a model railway cardboard kit. It is just about the right size for mini-figures. These kits come already colour printed and just need to be glued together. I used it just for a change and I was running out of time. But it works well.
Readers will notice as they go through issues 48 to 50 (and some other issues), that I’ve attempted to have two events happening at one time in a series of panels. So for example outside the Empire Cinema, Topham and Ferriby are talking and in the background is a young boy wrestling with a sweet machine. This is a technique used by some comic writers and in particular Brian Azzarello who used it to great effect in his award winning series 100 Bullets. (If you haven’t read the series and you like noir crime, it’s a stunning 100 issue read). And it’s this series that encouraged me to try it out in this Guard series. Azzarello ran two conversations together, in the same set of panels, for a page or pages of an issue(s). This would be the main plot and then a minor sub-plot relevant only to that issue.
So far I have tended to have a visual sub-plot running in the background, but at some point I will have a go at running two conversations together. The problem will be in having enough space in a panel to do this.
I made a conscious decision once I had started work on this three part story to try and do all three issues one together. So for example, if a particular background was required in two or three issues, I shot all of the scenes in one go, thus avoiding having to set the scene up again later. Similar to how scenes are shot for television and films. (Which is common sense when you think about it). Once part one was complete, I then moved straight onto part two and then part three, with no break in between issues.
The majority of buildings and rooms required were already built, but I did have to create several new ones for these stories. The Empire Cinema is my attempt at creating a small local York cinema in Lego. (The cinema is currently in use as a Bingo Hall. See the image below).
I hope you enjoy part one and the 'hook' encourages you to return for part two next month.