So I’m totally going to milk finding my Chapter 2 script print-out for everything I can. Today I’m going to milk it to talk about staging.

I was dreading this whole scene for that reason alone – the headache of trying to organize everyone in the Burns’ household talking around the dinner table. Once I sat down and actually roughed it out, it wasn’t as daunting as it seemed.

The first step was to figure out where everyone was sitting. You’ll notice in the scan that it is a really, really simple placement map of the table. With this, I can refer back to it throughout the scene to see who would be in the panels depending on which angle I was drawing from.

Here’s your tip from a cartooning hack for the day: When drawing a scene like this, it’s important to remember this – just because there’s a complicated staging doesn’t mean you have to draw that complicated staging in every panel. Basically, you have to have one establishing shot in the beginning to let the readers know where everyone is and then just make sure the continuity is correct throughout the scene and you pretty much have the problem solved.

You can see how I flipped the camera 180 degrees from the original rough I did. I think this was for word balloon purposes, though it was like two years ago, so I can’t quite remember…