Montage Scenes In Comics

2015 Artwork Montage scenes in comics sketch

Well, for today, I thought that I’d talk very briefly about one of my favourite types of scenes to use in comics – I am, of course, talking about montage scenes.

Like with a montage in a TV show or a movie, each panel of a montage scene in a comic shows something different happening in a different location. They kind of look a bit like this:

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "Dead Sector - Page 1" By C. A. Brown

“Dead Sector – Page 1” By C. A. Brown

One of the first reasons why montage scenes are so fun to make is because they add some much-needed variety to comics. If you’ve ever made a comic of any kind, then you probably know what I’m talking about here.

Even if yor comic includes really interesting characters, a fascinating story and/or lots of humour, drawing the same characters and settings over and over again can get at least slightly boring.

So, montage scenes allow you to take a bit of a break and to draw something new and interesting for a few panels. As such, montage scenes can be a great way to either get your comic started or to renew your own interest in it during the times when it’s going slowly.

Not only that, since each scene in your montage scene should ideally be something dramatic, this means that – for example – you can start your comic with some action using a montage scene or you can liven up a slightly dull part of your comic using a montage.

However, whilst it can be interesting to include a few non-dramatic panels in your montage scene, it can also ruin the montage slightly – as shown by this page from one of my short comics from earlier this year:

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] "Conspiracy 1983 - Page 2" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE] “Conspiracy 1983 – Page 2” By C. A. Brown

Another great thing about montage scenes in comics is that they allow you to show your readers a large amount of background information in a relatively short time – since each panel shows something different happening in a different location, you can cover a lot of the backstory very quickly and in a way that will grab your audience’s attention.

Finally, montages can also be a surprisingly easy way to add some comedy to your comic. All you have to do is to come up with a few vaguely absurd and/or funny scenes and then collect them together in a montage.

This can save you from having to think of a set-up for each joke or being limited by the context of the rest of your story. However, you’ll probably have to come up with some kind of reason – which makes sense in the context of your story – for including one of these comedic montage scenes.

For example, a comic that I posted on here in late July/early August starts with the main characters watching several different TV channels:

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE]"Diabolical Sigil - Page 1 (edited version)" By C. A. Brown

[CLICK FOR LARGER IMAGE]”Diabolical Sigil – Page 1 (edited version)” By C. A. Brown


Sorry about the ludicrously short and basic article today, but I hope that it was interesting 🙂

4 comments on “Montage Scenes In Comics

  1. babbitman says:

    I’ve got a stunning scanned image by Alan Davis from his time with Alan Moore back in the early 80s working for Marvel UK on the reboot for Captain Britain. It’s a double page spread, kind of split into 4 frames, but not totally. It’s supposed to be the vision of an alien pre-cog after the death of her mercenary colleague (who will completely die in a few weeks) and features the hero, the cyborg killing machine, the arch-nemesis and the demi-god who is trying to control all the chess pieces in play.
    I obviously can’t post it here, so I’ve popped it on my blog for you to have a look at 🙂

    • pekoeblaze says:

      Wow, that’s really cool 🙂 The only Alan Davis & Alan Moore comics I’ve read are “V For Vendetta” and “Watchmen” (I think that Davis illustrated both, but I’m not entirely sure).

      • babbitman says:

        I think the 2 Alans worked together in the early 80s on D.R. & Quinch (2000 AD), Captain Britain (Marvel UK) and a couple of indie titles (Marvelman / Miracleman). I think there was a falling out between them over unauthorised reprinting of the latter and they haven’t worked together since the mid 80s, but both went on to be seriously big in US comics. V for Vendetta was drawn by David Lloyd while the artist for Watchmen was Dave Gibbons (both British). “Alan” and “Dave” do seem to be common names in the British comic world!

      • pekoeblaze says:

        Ah, I should have remembered that Watchmen was illustrated by Dave Gibbons instead. I didn’t realise that Alan Moore and Alan Martin had had a falling out though.

        But, with the possible exceptions of Watchmen and Judge Dredd, I’ve never really been that interested in superhero comics. As 80s/90s comics go, my favourite series are probably Neil Gaiman’s “Sandman” comics, Warren Ellis’ “Transmetropolitan” comics and Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett’s “Tank Girl” comics. But, yeah, Alan is a surprisingly common name for comic writers/illustrators though LOL!

        Oooh, talking of British comics, I have a British comics-themed fan art painting that’s already up on DeviantART, but will be posted here in late November (I don’t know, for some reason, I seem to post my art on DeviantART a lot earlier than on here – with the one exception of the horror comic I’m posting for Halloween, which is being posted on the same days)

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