30 in 30 - Day 17: Seven Soldiers – Shining Knight / by Frank Gogol

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It’s Day 2 of Seven Soldiers Week and today I read Shining Knight. Sword-and-Sorcery has never been my genre of choice. It’s just never jived with what I like reading, except on rare occasion. Shining Knight happens to be one of those rare occasions. Morrison’s ability to simplify, organize, and expand mythologies is on full display in this book and with a science fiction (more my speed) bent.

Synopsis

Title: Seven Soldiers – Shining Knight
Storytellers: Grant Morrison & Simone Bianchi
Publisher: DC Comics
Year of Publication: 2005
Page Count: 88

The Knights of the Broken Table stand ready to battle the forces of the Beyond. But the only one who can save what remains of their world is 16-year-old Sir Justin, a teenaged warrior who, with his winged horse Vanguard, finds himself thrust into the maddening world of the 21st century to save the future of all mankind!

SPOILERS FOR SEVEN SOLDIERS – SHINING KNIGHT BELOW

What I learned about Comic Book Storytelling in Writing

What I love about writers like Jonathan Hickman, Geoff Johns, and (of course) Grant Morrison is that they’re always expanding mythologies. In this series, Morrison takes the classic Arthurian lore (historical, literary, religious) and organizes them all in to one grand tapestry. And that tapestry is woven out of a millennia-old archetypal Camelot that Morrison has created. Morrison takes these similar, but disparate, myths and streamlines them seamlessly into a grand epic build upon an origin story he’s built.   

What I learned about Comic Book Storytelling in Art

Bianchi, like others this month, draws comic book stories with clear panel layouts. The one place where he diverges from this, though, is when it comes to action scenes. Again, like others, his layouts and panel shapes become more dynamic when action is taking place. Bianchi, though, transitions into action scenes mid-page. The first tier of a given page, for instance, might be three rectangular panels running left-to-right, with his character drawing a sword in that final panel. Then in the next panel, when the fight begins, panels start to tilt and take on non-traditional shapes, as discussed with other books this month. But it’s that mid-page transition that’s so interesting. It’s a literal mid-page transition, but the page itself also works as a transition between the prior and next pages.

Recommendation: A (Must Read)

Check back tomorrow when I tackle Seven Soldiers – Manhattan Guardian.

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