Monday, April 1, 2013

Pictorial Actions Update

Slow going at Graphic Tales this year, due to other projects. Bear with me.

I am working with students on a cinematic story delivered simply through iMovie. Here are a few scans of illustrations from To Catch a Thief, a novel by David Dodge that was anthologized in Reader's Digest Condensed Books in Winter 1952. RDCB were issued quarterly beginning in 1950, and became extremely popular. They were hardback editions but printed like paperbacks, on relatively low quality paper (at least early on), with illustrations. Through the mid 50s they used pretty good illustrators on handmade color separation projects. In such cases we get a key drawing overprinted on several runs of color masses. These things have a crude energy.

The illustrations for Thief are by Denver Gillen, a second-tier illustrator who worked in a variety of contexts. Leif Peng has a post on him at Today's Inspiration. His two-color work included Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (above). I must say I prefer Gillen's Rudolph to his other deer, in the "nature illustration" highlighted at TI.

At any rate, I'm showing the illustrations for Thief to highlight two in particular, both of which are useful as cinematic snapshots of an action, in which the position of the "camera" puts us in a spot to see exactly what's necessary to follow the narrative.

Escape Example 1.

Escape Example 2. Both are somewhat complicated images, but made crystal clear through line and mass.

For more thoughts on clear narrative pictures, especially sequences of them, see Comics and Cinema, an earlier post on subject from a few years back. A primer of sorts.

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