Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Rags to Regent pt. 4


I was so ashamed when I drew this page. I had this image of myself as a sophisticated explorer of comics and sequential art as a visual language. And yet, here I was using the old cartoonist's gag of someone literally bowled over by a word balloon. How many lame jokes have been puncuated by two little feet kicked up from off panel? I felt that this was sinking lower than the when I used the elephant's butt. But what was I going to do? There was a lot of information to fit into a few panels, and not much time to do it. I grabbed that cliche and ran with it.

And then it occurred to me that this is what language is all about. Language is not about experimenting with a original sound with which to express yourself everytime you see a large, hairy form approaching you. It's about common agreement that that large hairy form is a "tiger" and that if you yell that loudly enough, everyone will run for cover. Comics have a rich (if not neccessarily deep) vocabulary of shorthand images crafted by the busy cartoonists of yesteryear who had tighter deadlines than mine. Why shouldn't I use that vocabulary?

So that made me feel better. I mean, I still don't think this page is great example of storytelling, but I do feel a little more in harmony with the honorable fraternity of craftsperson cartoonists.

3 comments:

Michael J. Hildebrand said...

Cheers to you for providing communication. Something I find most artists (me included, of course) couldn't do if their pen was taken away and replaced with a stack of picture/action flashcards (with instructions). :)

I enjoy your blog Mr. Priddy... Anything with a lot of pictures (even though there are all those darn words) makes me a content being for the day! Hurray Hurrah!

frooverheeman said...

Joel,

you's crazzzzy...

Sometimes what works best in a crunch is your first thought. Not EVERY comic can be an opportunity for new format/language...though ideally that sounds so delicious. We all borrow from the past and our content can be richer because of it.

now go make more! :)

Joel Priddy said...

Michael,

Thanks, mi amigo. It is very hard to draw with picture/action flashcards.

Paige,

Yes, ma'am.