spartan 300

In Praise of Comic Graphic Novels (300 by Frank Miller)

One of my favorite films is the movie 300, based on the graphic comic novel (300) by Frank Miller.

Reading the comic and studying the compositions, I am BLOWN AWAY! I am so inspired. Let me share some thoughts:

Epic compositions

First of all, let us study the compositions. Things I noted:

  1. Off-center compositions (asymmetric compositions).
  2. Use of negative space.
  3. No dialogue in some spreads, to heighten drama.
  4. Great laconic (short and strong) words.
  5. Great cross-over by Zack Snyder to cross-over the comic book vibes to the film 300.
  6. Insane amounts of opportunity to innovative with storytelling with comics and graphic novels. For example, one of my favorite panels is when you see the scene “POV” style (point of view) of King Leonidas.

POV SPREAD

The top view (silhouette) is that of King Leonidas’ helmet. Even notice the small details– the subtle crack in his helmet towards his eye scar.

Film vs Comic

The comic as actually having a more complex composition. Note the silhouette of the character at the very top (which is missing in the film):

THIS IS SPARTA!

One of the most iconic moments from the 300 film vs the comic:

Think the comic is still more epic.

Temple scene

High angle scene– far more epic in the comic (better angle in the comic, and you can see more of the drawing):


My favorite spreads

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