Sunday, February 5, 2012

Uniquely Comics, part one: Closure

The comic below ("Gargoyle in Flight") arose from an assignment at The Center for Cartoon Studies, a "drawing challenge": to depict a character flying from the city to the country, then going through a window. I did some ambitious drawing for this challenge, using a three-point perspective in the opening splash panel, then one-point perspective in the following two. (And the artists in my audience know that perspective images can be tedious to set up!) And then I used ink washes to cast atmospheric shades of grey over the scenes.

On page 2, I stumbled upon a technique that is unique to the comics medium. In panel one, the gargoyle's wings are up, and his surroundings include skyscrapers and car-filled streets. In panel two, his wings are down, the tall buildings are in the distance, and his setting has become more rural. Our imagination fills in for the great many wing-beats in between! A special use of "closure" (to use Scott McCloud's term.) If ever I teach a course on the comics medium, I'll include these pages.

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