Augie goes in-depth, exploring the artwork used in a four page sequence from Stan Sakai's "Usagi Yojimbo." What can we learn about depth, directionality and symmetrical storytelling from these pages? Click to find out.
Good stuff Augie. In looking at the double pg spread, I wonder if Stan picekd a rabbit because as an animal they are (in people's heads) usually white and the eye, just as our mind goes left -> right, is also drawn to the brightest part of a page. So I'm going to take you a BIT further.
1) Because of the hash-marked cliffs and the black ninjas - and even your inteerestingly inked background and the rhino's facial scruff your eye goes towards Usagi's face. It's even helped out by the bullseye effect behind him. Think I'm kidding? Walk with me...
2) Following him downwards, through his kimono you follow his sword towards the falling ninja (are they supposed to be cats, BTW? Cool!).
3) Staying in the panel, the eye then goes northwest to circle around, helped by the spear overlapping the falling ninja.
4) Coming up, you get the title - which as you read it goes from Left to Right!
5) Ending the title, you come down a bit to see the rhino punching a ninja. Guess what he's overlapping? The leaping ninja!
6) Looking at the leaper, his back leg goes DOWN to be overlapped by the sword of the last ninja. And where his the hilt of his katana?
7) Pointing towards his fallen ninja buddy.
It may not be in a pretty shape, but Stan TOOK YOUR EYE ALL OVER EVERY INCH OF THE PANEL.