The Look That Breaks The Fourth Wall

In yesterday’s update Ragna looks right at us after swearing that no one would ever see her looking vulnerable or intimate. It’s a fourth-wall break that, perhaps, doesn’t fit in the tone of the story of the dwarves; but it did, definitely, make me laugh.

Dominic and many others during the Oracle for Hire years would often look right at us when someone made a bad joke or a pun. It’s a sight gag that I came to appreciate growing up watching many Looney Tunes cartoons and reading old school newspaper comics strips. So, naturally, I put it into my own work.

After concluding Dominic’s adventures and switching gears to work on STAR POWER with Garth, I didn’t use the “looking right at the audience” gag for the entirety of our seven-year run together. Then, when I returned to this world for four years of Snout’s adventures, I somehow neglected to use it again. I failed to realize that it had been over a decade since I’d used one of my favorite gags in comics!

So when I sat down to write the script for Ragna’s soliloquy, it struck me that I had the opportunity to use a “looking right at the audience” panel again! Is it a little too self-aware? Is it an attempt at commentary on what the audience gets to see versus what the characters want to keep from others? Could be. Did it bring me joy to use one of my favorite gags again? Absolutely.

Regardless of whether it was appropriate or out-of-tone, it made me happy. That’s the most important thing for a creator to chase whenever they’re making something for themselves.

In the long marathon of creativity, where you’re constantly pushing yourself to make something new or challenge yourself to grow, sometimes you just need to be a little silly and give yourself a chuckle. It’s a nice break, and a breath of fresh air for your mind’s eye… especially when that eye is looking right at your audience through the fourth wall.