The Morning Line: Voiceover: "In a World of Cinematic Comics..."
Comic Riffs comes here today not to bury, but rather to praise the cinematic cartoon.
Whether a product of shrinking comics or changing reader tastes (or both), the funnies, overall, are far less cinematic in look than decades ago. And by "cinematic," I mean not just the "realistic" look of the soap serials, but also such assorted techniques as the shifting perspectives, the quick-cuts of exterior and interior shots, the use of contrasts to heighten mood, to cite just a few examples. (And it's worth noting: I do not include the apparently unintended "verite" of some shaky artists.)
Today, 'Riffs particularly enjoys movielike elements from a quartet of comics:
As noted here before, it's hard not to appreciate the noirish feel of the strip's high contrasts in recent weeks. Artist Eduardo Barreto has really ratcheted things up as the femme-fatale plotline has come to full flower. It's so cinematic, we're about ready to issue a casting call: Which real-life actors should play Sam Driver and Dixie Julep/Kathy Patterson?
Relatively simple touches -- such as the establishing "exterior" shot and the foregrounded image -- make this strip infinitely more visually interesting than some.
Spidey has had his share of real screen-time, of course -- and I much prefer his look in the comic books to this. Still, this version has its share of visual interest. (Although one pesky detail: Not sure why the body-man's jacket goes dark to light -- if he's coming out of the shadows, why didn't his shirt change in tone, too? )
BREWSTER ROCKIT: SPACE GUY!:
Swell to see the "Star Wars"-esque zoom-in on Deathroid. Cool cosmic detail that we don't get much anymore in a post-"Calvin and Hobbes" world.
ELSEWHERE 'ROUND THE PAGE:
Speaking of working with shadows, today's "Beetle Bailey" is an apparent nod to the great MAD magazine series "The Shadow Knows" by Sergio Aragones. Sergio remains the master.
| December 1, 2008; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: The Morning Line
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