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.