Deconstructing Comics on Thought Balloons, Other Stuff
Music is hard for me to work on comics to. Daytime, not so much. But I get lost in it if it's night. I need to hear voices speaking. So sometimes the TV's just on in the background without my watching, but a lot of the time, I like to listen to audiobooks, history lectures, and BBC radio comedy and drama while working on something late at night, as I am right now on the inks on the new Vladrushka
And yes, I'm getting back to LULU
soon too, but I do sometimes just follow what feels good and I felt I was starting to get stale with that one & needed to work on something else. Now I'm alternating. I actually have more pages of chapter 2 done than you see online, but I want to wait to release the rest till I have it in the can. Then it'll be nice and weekly.
But anyway, back to subject: something new I found among the great many dreadful comics podcasts online (Mindless Ones
in the UK, however, and Inkstuds
in Canada are two I recommend) is the excellent and engaging Deconstructing Comics
podcast. One I'm listening to right now is on thought balloons
, discussing artistic reasons why to use them and not, and so on.
Personally, my own thoughts on that have always been this: While I understand why not to use them--there are certain types of atmosphere ruined by them, much as sound effects --at the same time putting 1st person narration a la Frank Miller in captions instead is now also a cliche 2 decades--more--old. I use them shamelessly, because I want to use every tool comics allows me. I'm not trying to make it seem like a different medium.
I think their elimination sometime in the mid-80s had to do with a certain desire for the appearance of dignity, that by eliminating sound effects and thought balloons, the two most overtly "pop" visual signatures of comics, might make comics a less embarrassing medium. The two techniques, except in humor comics, were pretty much treated like a fart in a church. But that was accompanied by comics' gradual foray into grimdark and that led to some awful places.
And frankly, often it's pretty pretentious. Maybe it's just that it sounds ridiculous aloud even if spoken by Mickey Rourke, but after seeing the SIN CITY
movie, I realized that Miller's internal monologues, indeed pretty much all his warmed-over Spillane captions are...hilarious.
But as I say, I do see reasons not to use it, but I'm a maximalist. I believe in using any technique that gets your point across at the time and shifting tactics as needed. Techniques are tools, not religion. There is no god of art that will reward or strike you down for never cheating. The point is what you end up with. How you get there is between you and your whims.
Anyway, my bloviations on it. The podcast is much more interesting.
Another one I listened to right before, by the way, is a great discussion on tactics of making and promoting a webcomic
, and the ethics of the illegal downloading of comics and its effect on creators. Which I highly recommend to all comics creators.
And another on Moore & Campbell's BIRTH CAUL and SNAKES & LADDERS.
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Labels: art, business, comics, deconstructing comics, lulu, my comics, this sickness, vladrushka