Provocative Praise Picks #6

Today’s Provocative Praise Pick is last Friday’s page from Opportunities by sincerely and Elliwiny, who, by the way, recently answered my Seven Questions About Opportunities.

That page illustrates the unique ways in which comics can combine visuals with dialog and plot to tell an interesting story.

First in case you aren’t up-to-date on Opportunities, the two aliens are security officers charged to protect the alien diplomats and decision-makers (not seen on this page) on a goodwill and negotiation mission to Earth. Kyan, the female-looking alien, is in charge, and frustrated at the difficulties in her job due to diplomatic necessities. Rex, the male looking alien, is a laid-back type of guy who wants to make sure Kyan is not more p*ssed off that usual by others, and doesn’t p*ss off other.

The humans are all involved with the negotiations, and they want to use some spare time to visit the alien spaceship and have fun. Cortez, the suave hispanic man, is trying to impress the other humans, especially Sara, his newly-aquired lover. Sara is, unbeknownst to the other humans, but highly suspected by Kyan, actually an assassin who want to wreak havock on the aliens, posing as the secretary of a man they killed before he could have introduced her.

Now let’s do an in-depth analysis:

Panel One, we see Cortez approaching Kyan, who is still in her suffer-no-fool-especially-not-these-ones mood, clearly visble in her posture.

Panel Two, Sara tried to back out, because she doesn’t want to risk exping her fake identity. Note the changing look on Kyans face, and note how her ear is very prominent in the panel, reminding us that she has excellent, superhuman hearing and can understand Sara clearly.

Panel Three, we see Rex going through hoops trying to deflect the humans wish to see the spaceship without being too obviously rude.

Panel Four is the most interesting, the encapsulating the crucial plot point. Kyan is now determined to make use of the crazy situation, and play the player, Sara, thinking that it may be better to keep a dangerous person close, if you have control of the situation. Note how the panel itself is visually unassuming, but fraught with meaning, and the dialog is sparse and only hints at her thoughts. It’s our own mind that makes this panel so great and important.

Panel Five gives us the crucial decision in one line of dialog, visually zooming back to show all the persons affected by it.

Panel Six & Seven show us Rex trying to understand what’s happening, inviting us to muse on it as well, and figure out the stuff that I wrote above.

As you can see now, this page serves well to show why I love Opportunities.

Do you notice more interesting details on the page? Tell us in the comments!

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