Staging the Action in the Pages of Thief of Thieves

by Shawn Martinbrough

Thumbnail layouts are the essential blueprint for every page that I draw. This is the stage where I do all of my storytelling editing such as choosing angles, the lighting, etc.

In this sequence from Thief of Thieves #17 written by Andy Diggle, my deadline was looming so the layout is looser than I typically prefer. It might look like chicken scratch but it was enough for me to quickly nail down the flow of Andy’s script and keep things moving.



Colors by Felix Serrano

In this page from Thief of Thieves #18, I figured out how to stage the action in Andy Diggle’s script pretty quickly using a “chicken scratch” layout.

10631063_10152448688318106_6802637268656928838_oYou can see that I changed the angle in panel one in the final. The new angle gave more scale to Conrad’s surroundings and helped him appear small in comparison. I think that it visually built on the tension in Andy’s script.


Colors by Felix Serrano

Listening to film scores is very inspiring when I write. Sometimes when I draw a scene, a soundtrack just pops in my head. When designing this Venice rooftop chase scene from Thief of Thieves #18, the Danny Elfman score from the first Mission: Impossible film would not stop looping in my brain. Specifically, the Prague mission score in the beginning of the film. I always meant to share this with writer Andy Diggle.

10687377_10152448709408106_3636264120016758421_o 10704310_10152448709478106_6103551908686154920_o10697144_10152448709533106_5296660149735922244_oSeriously, the Danny Elfman score from the first Mission Impossible film would not stop looping in my brain while designing and drawing this scene.

1294472_10152449171518106_1030843194660074009_o 1412461_10152449172763106_1609377260315414299_oWhat a great script by writers Andy Diggle and Robert Kirkman.

Shawn Martinbrough is an artist of the bestselling monthly graphic novel Thief of Thieves — written by The Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman — and is co-founder of VERGE Entertainment. He is best known for his work for Marvel Comics, Vertigo, and DC Comics, including a critically-acclaimed two year collaboration with novelist Greg Rucka on Batman: Detective Comics.