There are so many artists in comics who have no idea how to use negative space and abuse the privilege without a second thought. Thankfully, Brandon Graham is not one of these artists, and King City #3 should be a lesson to any offenders out there on how to use places with no ink effectively.
Graham tends to overload rather than under-load his panels with objects and details, so it makes a statement when he veers in the other direction. In this issue, he uses that method as a way to enhance perspective, create sensation when a key slides across a bar, and augment distance.
By contrast, his packed panels and spreads in a single room can be as enjoyable as an eBoy scene, inviting the reader to jump around from character to character and information nugget to information nugget. The crowd scenes are as fun to read as a Wired magazine info-graphic and showcase the extra level of thought Graham has pumped into his book’s society. In the same way that Alan Moore and Gene Ha’s Top 10 created expansive group shots that constantly seeded the pages with new material ripe to be revisited later, King City keeps the reader guessing as it throws out clusters of miscellaneous story details, often without explicit backstory or context.