Every year the great people at Comics Workbook in Pittsburgh, PA host a composition competition. Depending on the year different comic formats are used, whether its a 16 page book or a single spread. This year the format was a four panel gag strip in the style of old Peanuts or other daily or weekly strips. I’ve been reading this great book, How to Read Nancy, which outlines all the essential aspects of comic art in a three panel Nancy strip. The book is like a graduate course in comics on a super specific level. You are only ever analyzing one strip with three panels and three lines of text. But the way the authors take that strip apart and explain how Ernie Bushmiller perfectly lays it all out is enlightening.
For this year’s contest I had been thinking a lot about Nancy, and The Shop, and how I wanted to streamline the drawing and text to be more Bushmiller-y…Well this seemed like a perfect chance to try. I added a panel to give some context and changed around the characters to fit The Shop world. I’ve posted Nancy’s original version below. Enjoy!