Here’s a final selection of page layouts from the sixty-four that make up our first Kestrels story. I’m very happy with how it’s going, even though there have been quite a few pages that fought back pretty hard.
I had no end of trouble with this first page, where Ethan decides to run away from his care home and go back to his Nan’s.
I had all these ideas about showing him packing his bag, dropping it out of the window, him then climbing out of the window and (as it says in the script) abseiling down the wall on some knotted sheets.
This is the version of the page from my previous start on this book, incorporating the ideas listed above:
In this second version, I reckoned that Ethan deciding to make his move would be the only action that required a passage-of-time sequence of panels, and that the rest of the page would be key moments only – packing, escaping through the window, on the street, back at his Nan’s, and finishing with a new scene of him inside the flat. (The first and third tiers both feature a split panel, something I’m enjoying doing, yet only a few years ago I would have shuddered at the very idea.)
I’m very pleased with how this page is going, worth all the hoopla:
I nailed this next page more or less on the first attempt, as Ethan wanders from the fields to a lane and flags down a car. The only problem was deciding how to show the lane in the fourth panel – I’d originally got fixated on having Ethan in the foreground and faffed about for a while, but eventually remembered that the panel is about the road and not Ethan:
Here are the thumbnails for the first sixteen pages of our story:
A couple of commissions to draw, and then some proper Kestrels artwork!