Monday, April 14, 2008
you ware me out
it's been a little while since i have purchased a graphic novel...i think it was just before xmas? i purchased acme novelty volume 18. i absolutely love reading and looking at chris ware's work. it baffles my mind with each and every picture and word. after reading one of the stories i had to put it down because it made me so sad, a lot of the stories involving one of the character's is particularly sad.
what he does well is bringing the comic book and graphic design worlds together. he's the architect of comic books, using t-bars and a pen and pencil to get his point across. no fancy computers for this guy!
"I arrived at my way of "working" as a way of visually approximating what I feel the tone of fiction to be in prose versus the tone one might use to write biography; I would never do a biographical story using the deliberately synthetic way of cartooning I use to write fiction. I try to use the rules of typography to govern the way that I "draw", which keeps me at a sensible distance from the story as well as being a visual analog to the way we remember and conceptualize the world. I figured out this way of working by learning from and looking at artists I admired and whom I thought came closest to getting at what seemed to me to be the "essence" of comics, which is fundamentally the weird process of reading pictures, not just looking at them. I see the black outlines of cartoons as visual approximations of the way we remember general ideas, and I try to use naturalistic color underneath them to simultaneously suggest a perceptual experience, which I think is more or less the way we actually experience the world as adults; we don't really "see" anymore after a certain age, we spend our time naming and categorizing and identifying and figuring how everything all fits together. Unfortunately, as a result, I guess sometimes readers get a chilled or antiseptic sensation from it, which is certainly not intentional, and is something I admit as a failure, but is also something I can't completely change at the moment"