Choreography in Fight Scenes

Forum devoted to Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic Universe and the entire Sonic line by Archie Comics.

Choreography in Fight Scenes

Postby SonicWindAttack » Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:03 pm

This is something I've been wanting to talk about for a while now. As we all know, this comic is no stranger to fight scenes. In fact, one could argue there's been a bit too many of them lately. But putting that aside, I feel the fighting scenes in the comic have been a bit lacking recently. They don't feel necessarily engaging or interesting. Why? Because of the lack of choreography. The comic had actually done a fairly decent job of this in the past, but ever since the reboot many of the fight scenes have been "simplified" to make them easier to follow. What do I mean by this? In a one-on-one fight, it's necessary for both fighters to react to each other's movements. For example, person A delivers a punch, which Person B blocks. Person B may then deliver a kick, which Person A has to jump back to avoid. I don't know enough about fighting to give any super-detailed examples, but you get the idea. The point is, this is something the comic hasn't been doing lately.

For an example, let's look at the Sonic vs. Knuckles fight in issue 271. We start off with Knuckles giving Sonic an uppercut. Okay, fair enough. But in the very next panel, Sonic is seen ramming into Knuckles, without any indication that he's had time to recover or get some distance. In a more realistic fight, Knuckles would've followed up with some more hits since Sonic should be wide open. But no, the two of them just seem to completely ignore each other's attacks and take turns beating the stuffing out of each other. For what little remainder of the fight there is, they're just seen attacking each other randomly with no rhyme or reason. I get that it's supposed to show Sonic and Knuckles are evenly matched, but this isn't the way to do it. For an arc revolving around a fighting tournament, this was a pretty lackluster final round. Thing is, there had just previously been a much better fight, which is Knuckles vs. Bark in issue 269. This fight works because the two clearly react to each other's actions and even show visible damage. Bark punches Knuckles in the face, grabs him, and tosses him against a wall. Knuckles is hurt, but is able to catch Bark's fist and punch him in the gut. Bark uses the opportunity to smack Knuckles on the head, and attempts to follow up, but Knuckles is able to block it. The two punch each other several more times and eventually end up in a power struggle, but Knuckles is able to end it with an uppercut. Now THAT'S a fight scene. Why couldn't they all get this kind of treatment?

The reason I'm saying this is because I feel this problem has just recently reached it's absolute peak. I'm talking, of course, about the mess of a battle in issue 275. For seven straight pages we're given random characters throwing around random attacks with no direction whatsoever. I can understand it being hard to choreograph a battle with so many characters, but issue 250 was able to do it. As chaotic as it was, there was still some clever stuff going on. There was Spark Man and Bright Man shorting each other out, Sonic knocking Hard Man into Top Man, Espio vs. Shadow Man, and the beautiful two-page spread of Sonic dodging and attacking numerous Robot Masters. There's none of that in 275. It's just panel after panel of supposedly-similar characters from different franchises trashing cannon fodder. If you were wondering how a fight involving so many different franchises could possibly be boring, look no further than this issue.

Of course, if a fight is TOO choreographed then it becomes unrealistic. It would be impossible for people to perfectly react to each other's movements without a lot of practice, and that's not what fight scenes are about. But I feel that for a comic that's so indulgent with fight scenes, more should be done to make them a little more engaging. Don't be afraid for the characters to get a little hurt, make the sequences feel more connected, stuff like that. What do you guys think?
User avatar
SonicWindAttack
BumbleFan
 
Posts: 119
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 8:15 pm
Location: Bluffton, SC

Re: Choreography in Fight Scenes

Postby Kevin160nitroncaron3 » Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:02 pm

I know how you feel, it's tough to nail down choreography in a video game comic. I think SatAM and AoStH had its own fighting mayhem to deal with. SEGA characters have plot armor. But Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra have awesome and engaging choreography.
Kevin160nitroncaron3
BumbleCitizen
 
Posts: 265
Joined: Wed Dec 23, 2009 9:55 pm

Re: Choreography in Fight Scenes

Postby BlazeHeatnix » Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:54 am

I think the idea is to make it seem like the fights last longer than what's depicted in the panels, as if we're only seeing every OTHER punch fly. It might seem a bit silly for it to realistically only last 10 seconds, considering the limitation of 20 pages. But yeah, I agree that it ends up not being very engaging. I'm wondering if it's either artist incompetence, or SEGA dumbing Sonic down and wanting fights to look more like this:

Image
User avatar
BlazeHeatnix
BumbleCitizen
 
Posts: 483
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:40 pm
Location: Tennessee

Re: Choreography in Fight Scenes

Postby Azul » Fri Sep 18, 2015 9:10 am

Even though pre-252 had some really memorable fights, I say the quality at its best has increased overall. Even though Tracey Yardley! is the heavy weight champ of the comic art, not to down play any of the other artists, I used to find it hard to visualize how some of the fights done by him could happen. The placement of the characters had a tendency of being akward and I found it unrealistic that some characters could talk so much in the time frame of the panel and fight.
Using the Sonic & Scourge vs the Super Metal Bros.™ as a principal example: In one panel where Metal Sonic and Scourge were about to bone rush Sonic on both sides, I find it hard to believe that at the speeds they could travel, unless Sonic can quip faster than the speed of sound, that he'd have time to remain in a stationary position, talk, and avoid the incoming attacks. Also, in the next issue, Metal Scourge did a midair updraft kick which would normally send your foes upward, but it knocked Sonic diagonally downward. And in the panel before that, the Metals were on opposite positions fighting their fleshy counterparts. At his worst, Yardley's! transitions are akward and leave too much to the imagination. Another panel that comes to mind is in the second part of the Sonic vs Tails two parter, we've got a panel where Tails is kicking Sonic's butt, literally, but they both grunt at different points to indicate that Sonic landed a hit as well. Why not just give them a panel a piece per hit? For the most part, his art has greatly improved and I only occasionally see issues in the character's positioning, like that kick Sonic gave Metal.

However, Ms.Diana Skelly has shown excellent choreography. The flow of the fights is believeable and easy to follow. And the tension is great. Knuckles vs Bark and Break Man, even though they ended in the exact same way, were spectacular to watch. The same can be said for Evan Stanely. The Freedom Fighters vs the Dark Gia Golemn had great flow from panel to panel. Overall, I'd say the quality of the fighting scenes has been more consistent and clearer. The rotating artists also offer something new every time. And I'd like to throw it out there that I love a good mook mash up. Seeing the heroes absolutely curbstomping swarms of enemies is essential to my mental well-being. Never mind that Sonic games are roughly 30-40% badnik trashing.
Last edited by Azul on Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
Azul
BumbleKnight
 
Posts: 656
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:43 pm
Location: Somewhere, USA

Re: Choreography in Fight Scenes

Postby Meliden » Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:18 pm

Diana Skelly is the name you're looking for, methinks.
User avatar
Meliden
BumbleCult
 
Posts: 6019
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:18 pm
Location: ベクエス

Re: Choreography in Fight Scenes

Postby Azul » Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:26 pm

Thank you Meliden.
User avatar
Azul
BumbleKnight
 
Posts: 656
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2011 9:43 pm
Location: Somewhere, USA

Re: Choreography in Fight Scenes

Postby FritzyBeat » Fri Sep 18, 2015 12:48 pm

One fight I thought did a particularly good job was the Silver vs Enerjak fight from SU.

Usually when a comic wants to focus on do a real fight, it ends up becoming a bit boring. You just start looking at panel after panel of Character A beating on Character B and then vise versa. Big epic fight scenes tend to work really well in animation and film, but a comic has to adapt, because it's characters aren't moving.

This was where I felt the finale of the Endangered Species fell short, I was looking forward to see how all the drama played out, but instead we just got page after page of Thrash and Knux beating on each-other with no dialogue to move the story forward. I actually seem to remember skipping through some of it cause I as getting bored =P

Back on to the Silver and Enerjak fight, that one REALLY seemed to me to achieve an epic fight scene without loosing any of the engagement. Characters were still talking to themselves, talking to each-other, the plot was still moving forward throughout the fight, and this seemed to give the fight itself a lot more weight. To me, the more engrossed in the story a fight is, the more interesting it becomes to me. So when someone wants to have two super-powered guys wailing on each-other, I think it's besed to either A: Use it as a telephone in order to convey more relevant information to the story, or B: have other characters around doing other things that you can cut to who can advance the story.
User avatar
FritzyBeat
BumbleClan
 
Posts: 3027
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2011 1:56 pm
Location: Up in the cold cloudy night sky~

Re: Choreography in Fight Scenes

Postby Penguin God » Fri Sep 18, 2015 2:19 pm

Silver vs Enerjak was fun, but it was more a game of catch than anything. In terms of action, Skelly's great, but really, it's hard to talk about this without mentioning the absolute champ, Bates. Every panel SHOULD lead into the next, outside of a montage like Sonic vs Knuckles, and he was absolutely perfect at that. "Choreography", especially in a series about a hero who is all agility and speed, is all about portraying movement and inertia/momentum. This one is really all on the artist, as conveying that is something the writer could never do on their own. I think Yardley!'s actually pretty good at it, although he certainly took time to really get it down: the only issue is that characters talk too much sometimes, and that's really just an issue of being a comic book. They do that.

I have no idea why anybody would think Sega would be trying to "dumb down" the fight art, especially when almost all the best action scenes in the book were all in the modern run, most of them in the latter half.
User avatar
Penguin God
BumbleCult
 
Posts: 8406
Joined: Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:28 pm

Re: Choreography in Fight Scenes

Postby The KKM » Sun Sep 20, 2015 6:26 pm

Yeah, this has nothing to do with SEGA, or with Ian or Archie even, simply it's down to us having had only one artist excelling at this- Bates.
User avatar
The KKM
BumbleClan
 
Posts: 4708
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:40 am
Location: Portugal

Re: Choreography in Fight Scenes

Postby SonicWindAttack » Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:31 pm

The KKM wrote:Yeah, this has nothing to do with SEGA, or with Ian or Archie even, simply it's down to us having had only one artist excelling at this- Bates.

It has to have at least a little to do with Ian, he's the one describing the movements the characters are making to the artists. And I never meant to imply that it's because of SEGA that the fight scenes haven't been as engaging. More than likely, it has to do with the number of new artists that have drawn out issues since the reboot. But yeah, I agree Bates was the best at it. Come back to us, man... :cry:
User avatar
SonicWindAttack
BumbleFan
 
Posts: 119
Joined: Thu May 22, 2014 8:15 pm
Location: Bluffton, SC

Re: Choreography in Fight Scenes

Postby BlazeHeatnix » Sun Sep 20, 2015 7:48 pm

It's most likely directed at my own comment.

I was just saying that due to Sonic's shift in tone into something more comedic and cartoony, and the new continuity having a shift like that as well, it might drive the artists to do the fights less realistically, like the first Archie issues were done, where they were more like a series of happy slaps than actual fights. I remember how Batman: Brave and the Bold did its "fight scenes" as a series of stills rather than anything Batman:TAS would've done. It wasn't so much budgeting issues but a deliberate attempt at making fights as unable to be taken seriously as possible. But then, I have no idea how this medium is planned out compared to a cartoon.
User avatar
BlazeHeatnix
BumbleCitizen
 
Posts: 483
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2013 11:40 pm
Location: Tennessee

Re: Choreography in Fight Scenes

Postby The KKM » Sun Sep 20, 2015 8:58 pm

It's not really directed at either, it's just my general "I'm seeing people mention it might be because of SEGA in a topic that's not due to SEGA so I'll mention that".

Ian probably writes the basic "sonic attacks, now amy attacks" shpiel, and then it's up to the artists to make it visually interesting. I think it was in Bates' old blog (now gone) he explained how much of the great visual flair in the Thicker than Water fight was coming from him, and seeing how the fights felt the same in his TMNT work, I'm inclined to take that.
User avatar
The KKM
BumbleClan
 
Posts: 4708
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:40 am
Location: Portugal

Re: Choreography in Fight Scenes

Postby MetalSkulkBane » Mon Sep 21, 2015 10:44 am

I think Blazeheatnix hit home about Knuckles Vs Sonic in 271. Just like issue 250, it's more of a "jumping style" where they deliberately ignore choreography. Thankfully I don't think it happens to often maybe except when smashing badniks/legion/eggarmy/etc.

FritzyBeat wrote:This was where I felt the finale of the Endangered Species fell short, I was looking forward to see how all the drama played out, but instead we just got page after page of Thrash and Knux beating on each-other with no dialogue to move the story forward. I actually seem to remember skipping through some of it cause I as getting bored =P

I didn't like that fight at first, but it grew a little on me. And I'm happy there were no dialogs. We had enough "Bring them back!" "No!" in previous issues.
User avatar
MetalSkulkBane
BumbleKnight
 
Posts: 707
Joined: Thu Mar 26, 2015 4:02 am
Location: Poland

Re: Choreography in Fight Scenes

Postby Kureejii Lea » Mon Sep 21, 2015 2:51 pm

The KKM wrote:It's not really directed at either, it's just my general "I'm seeing people mention it might be because of SEGA in a topic that's not due to SEGA so I'll mention that".

Ian probably writes the basic "sonic attacks, now amy attacks" shpiel, and then it's up to the artists to make it visually interesting.


Well, of course it's up to the artists to make it visually interesting. But the scripting is far more detailed than you seem to think -- who is attacking, how they're attacking, how they're approaching, the facial expressions and reactions, the general shape of the panel/page layout -- all that stuff is scripted.
User avatar
Kureejii Lea
BumbleKween
 
Posts: 3654
Joined: Sat Oct 15, 2005 9:26 pm
Location: Ontario, Canada

Re: Choreography in Fight Scenes

Postby The KKM » Mon Sep 21, 2015 4:15 pm

I know that's normally how it's done, but considering how much of a difference Bates made, I thought the scripts had slowly gotten simpler fight-wise except for important details like "he must be making THIS face".
User avatar
The KKM
BumbleClan
 
Posts: 4708
Joined: Sun Sep 21, 2008 7:40 am
Location: Portugal

Next

Return to This Side of Mobius



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 5 guests

cron