Ekedal & Fialkov on Echoes' Greatest Hit
March 31, 2016
IMAGE COMICS: I think it's fascinating that Brian's face is off-panel or obscured for the first two and a half pages. Rahsan, what made you want to show us Brian's feelings through body language, rather than direct facial expressions here?
RAHSAN EKEDAL: I love using this technique. It's great for horror, because it divorces the reader from the visually "safe" place of a human face, and makes them more aware of everything else in the panel. You're forcing the reader to wonder about what the character is thinking instead of telling them. That's more evocative, fundamentally. This is done in film with over-the-shoulder follow shots and close-ups, and I think the effect is similar.
Another benefit is that you emphasize the character-as-proxy relationship, which pulls the reader into the scene. I can't recall if I went into this scene thinking about doing this, or if it might have sprung out of Josh's suggestion in the script that we only see Brian's legs in the first three panels. But however it came about, it really works.
JOSHUA HALE FIALKOV: I always think about this sequence whenever I hear the fight between what does an artist bring to comics versus the writer. In this simple scene, you see the true power of an artist's storytelling, and how an artist can do things a writer simply can't. Rahsan's choices in every minute detail are just so strong and smart and brilliant. I remain awestruck at what he can do. And to think he was so damn young when he did it just makes me angry.
IC: ECHOES is a little over five years old now, and you've both done a mountain of work in the time since. How does it feel to look back at this scene? Is there a moment in here that works really well for you?
EKEDAL: Looking over old work sometimes makes me cringe, but in this case I just feel proud of what we achieved in this scene, and in the whole book. I've grown so much as a storyteller and as an artist, and I can see the flaws and mistakes, especially in the drawing. But there's a real visceral magic here that makes up for it. The three panels where Brian rips down the drywall and then stands staring into that black void are so chilling. That's my favorite moment.
FIALKOV: I think of all my books, this is the one I remain proudest. Rahsan's ability to challenge not just the pacing and look, but the grander story we were telling led to something that I think proves that a whole is better than the sum of its parts. I don't know that I would be able to do a book this visceral and outright terrifying with anyone but Rahsan. I'm just damn proud to have done it.
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