Friday, September 02, 2005


I thought this was worth highlighting. In a post below, I mentioned that Mark Fossen noticed a lettering technique Sara Ryan had me use in Flytrap. In the comments thread Augie responded:

We're talking about these sorts of things:

I'm surprised at how infrequently basic storytelling tools like these are used. Sounds cut off other sounds all the time. We interrupt each other. Loud noises drown out speech. People go on when we're no longer listening. There are very simple ways to graphically represent these phenomena in ways that are instantly understandable. Eisner and Kurtzman used them. Chaykin used them. They probably go back to Winsor McCay.

It is not that these are rarely utilized visual storytelling tools, but rather rarely *written* dramatic nuances that comics writers lack in the craft of composing dialog and scene beats. As an artist, I would gladly jump at the opportunity to use them. It goes into the question of the style of writing. Is this a realistic portrayal of a conversation, where people interrupt each other, or is it a softened, refined or theatric exchange of monologs. It is the power of the writing that pulls the visual language.
...also, we must cease to mistreat this craft of "lettering" as we do with the craft of "inking," which most comics artists not consider a picture-making stage but a tracing one. "Lettering" is TYPOGRAPHY with a vast past in art history we can tap and manipulate to our goals. Look at Eisner or Chris ware. Dialog, captions and sound effects are not letters to be "lettered," but marks on paper like any brush stroke. Using the computer to "letter" (guilty myself) obviously feeds the opposite understanding...
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