(Above: A painting I did as development on the Gypsy Twins story, with the lovely Lira Kellerman and Sara Streeter modelling along with the elegant MsMaw.)
When I first decided to change this story from forty eight to sixty pages, I already had the first twenty four pages pencilled and 7-8 of those inked. It wasn't as if I was starting over from scratch; I'm not that obsessed. In most cases I had to create very few entirely new frames.
Here is the original second page, inked and even toned. I kept the opening establishing shot, because it did just that perfectly well. We know who is in the scene, and where it is set. However, I created a new frame and showed Parker, Kinchay and the studio executive in a medium shot so we could get a good look at our principles.
On page three I did the same thing; expanded the shot of the sheet being placed over Peppers so that it was more dramatic. Then I added a wide shot (camera wide…not page wide) of her body being wheeled out, and kept the closeup of Parker's take on all this. Then I created a new frame for the bottom tier which shows out trio again and gives me room to fit in the dialogue.
The frames on the top of page four worked well, so I left them alone. I kept the same action for middle frame, but set the background wider to create the feel of the Studio exterior. And then I took the last frame and doubled the size. Doesn't do anything else for storytelling, but it no longer appears as cramped as the original. This also breaks up the chapter into two page four scenes, with the first one ending here.
The major plot of this story is taken from one of my favorite Dashiell Hammett stories, The Scorched Face. I originality questioned whether I was plagiarizing too much of the story and set this tale aside for a year or two. But in that time, I saw the same plot redone three or four times in other detective films from the 40's. So I went back to my guiding rule: execution of an idea should trump originality anytime.
A few of you have been asking about the first Retrowood book and I still have a few copies available if you are interested. Foreign orders will have to have me calculate postage and add it on as a surcharge.