Commentary to Ondine Page 3:
Aside from that, I think this page succeeds in delivering the intended message. The reveal of the protagonist is intentionally delayed, in order to try to convey some character through framed close-ups. The character is leaning back, with his feet on the table, and his book is closed. He’s not very interested in the lesson. But at least we can imagine that he’s looking at the teacher and absorbing the lecture, even if he’s not writing down every word.
The last two panels are the first instance of a design technique that I used several times in the comic: the juxtaposition of same-size panels with similar content. For some reason this type of storytelling really appeals to me. I like the idea of hinting at a connection between the panels, and then inviting the reader/viewer to analyze the pair and see how one modifies or compliments the other. Of course, I didn’t limit myself to just panels, and more than once in the comic I actually juxtapose pages side by side to create the same effect.
In this case, I wanted to show the contrast between the teacher writing something on the board, the activity of the instructor, against the image of the character’s pencil resting idly on the desk, or the lack of activity on the part of the student. This builds on the characterization in the other panels on the page, and further develops the idea that this character, who has yet to be fully revealed, is not really interested in the lesson. Before we even see him, we get the impression that he’s disconnected from the world around him, and not taking it in.
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