Thinking With Portals.
The key to this was drawing it upside down. That is to say, as if the characters were right side up. I couldn’t make heads or tails of the composition or orientation of the figures any other way.
Initially, I was going to have way fewer holes/portals, because I just didn’t want to do all the inking to fill them in. However, as that started to take shape, it was pretty unclear why the characters would be so confused, if there were only a few portals. They are Silver Age Superheroes, sure, but they aren’t stupid. As a result, I had to work out a kind of double horizon (the grid lines are gone), with holes defined by rectangular (more trapezoidal, actually) shapes on the grid. Then they had to become ellipses, the grid disappear…and that was a lot more work than the figures.
Also, the erasing of all the grid lines demanded inking in itself. Add to that the need to fill the holes in with blackness, which pencil never makes work quite right, and we had that added time layer to today’s piece. I’m happy enough with it in the end.
I guess this is a kind of villain deathtrap? Maybe? Or at least something so confusing that it delays superheroes enough so that they bad guy can escape? It would definitely be pretty frustrating to figure out, on its face.