And then – find a page from a comic you love. It’s best if there’s words on it. Now take the words away. Does the page still make sense? Can you still tell what’s happening and why? If the sound were to drop of out a film covering the same shots and dialogue beats, would you be lost? Now take away the pictures. Does the page still make sense? Can you remove either? Does the page itself push the story narratively? If so, why, and if not, why not? And if not, does it belong there? Why? Why not?
Now write a version of that page entirely without words that still gets the point of the page across. It can be longer than a page for the sake of the exercise.
Find another page from a comic. Any comic. Literally any comic. Ask yourself questions about it. As many questions as you can think of. Why this, why that, why not the other thing. Was this a choice, why was it made. Just keep banging away at questions. Why this shot, what does this shot say, what does this panel say, what does it say next to the other. Take it apart. Take it all apart and see what you can find under the hood. Don’t have to answer — the point is in the asking.— Matt Fraction, dropping some of the kindest advice on how you can develop the number one most useful basic skillset you need for thinking about comic books you’ll ever read, in this week’s edition of the Milkfed Criminal Masterminds e-newsletter. (via oak23)