In my early days in the field, I was intrigued by the Dogme 95 movement, which restricted filmmaking practices with certain rules designed to restore a more “natural” approach by forbidding some of the shortcuts that genre movies and their audiences take for granted.

I wondered if it might be possible to restrain comics work in a similarly organized way, and one thing I focused on was how much dialogue was permitted during scenes where there really should not be much time for dialogue. Should dialogue in the middle of a fight be restricted to six syllables per frame? Ten? Two?

I was never able to sort out a rule that I thought I could follow consistently, but that was on my mind a lot when we were doing this scene. So I continued to resist the temptation to embroider Phil’s spare dialogue here, tempting as it was to pen a short, sweet one-liner in panel 4 that’d underline Syr’Nj’s brainpower and how she’s feeling right now.