The most dense layout with regards to lettering. It was a challenge to reconfigure the flow of the layout, but I certainly had the benefit of hindsight. When I was doing this spread originally in 2013, I drew the panels as separate pieces without any consideration for how the dialogue would fit into the negative spaces and around the characters. The dialogue was an afterthought.

This ended up with a final spread that somewhat worked, but you can clearly see the parts where I struggled. There is a lot of white too close to each other.

For the 2023 layout, the dialogue flow is still the same – what’s better now is that the composition and characters are all in keeping with the flow. Grimsley’s fancy flourish brackets his gleeful response in the first panel; the third panel’s composition is flipped and zoomed out to provide more negative space for the dialogue; the tower in the third panel is also working as a physical delineation – similar to a paragraph break – between Grimsley’s retort and Nikolas’ rant; and everything and everyone’s been shuffled a little to the left or right or wherever they needed to go.

I’m pleased with how I drew Nikolas climbing down his plinth. Nice shoulders Mr Gargoyle!!!

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