Beneath the Hustle Bustle

If I were to put a time on it, I discovered comics on a Sunday afternoon in the late 1980’s. Lying on the floor in my grandmothers house reading the Funday Times. The first comics to my mind when I think of my childhood are Calvin and Hobbes, Peanuts, Garfield, The Beano and The Farside (though maybe The Farside came a little later). Sure, I was aware the superheroes, they were fine and fun, but they were never my go to. They were a bit too slick and removed from my experience of the world. The characters I liked didn’t fight against some far removed muscle bound bad guy, rather they were pushing back against the world that they had been placed in. The real world filled with grown ups, the notion of growing up and the absurdity of it all. I guess what I liked about these comics initially was that they communicated something to me which I could relate to and which I felt was true, even if I didnt fully understand what that was at the time. There was something in these comics that resinated with me. They held a mirror up to the world reflecting the humour, beauty, heartbreak and absurdity found within.

There are of course many art forms which have been used by artists to tell stories, communicate ideas and hold said mirror up to the world. Ranging from film to photograhy to music to comedy and on. So what makes comics different from these other art forms? I was always interested in the use of words and pictures with in comics. It could argued that films achieve something very similar to comics. This is true, though in a number of respects the comic artist has to less to work with when it comes to expressing their idea. Comic artists are generally required to express their ideas within a small number of frames where as film as standard uses 24 frames per second and can take a more prolonged look at a subject. Also film can incorporate audio and music which really help establish mood and atmosphere. Often times comic artists will express an idea or an emotion through imagery alone. Although this is not an idea that is exclusive to comics, comics artists are often required to achieve this in a very precise way using various tools developed by artists throughout the history of comic art.

Over the course of this blog I Intend to explore and learn more about silent interactions in comic art. I will look at the various methods employed by comic artists to depict silent interactions amongst characters. I will also look at how artists convey experiences which can be communally understood without use of a specific language outside of the imagery. If you are interested in comics or the ideas I have expressed in general I hope you might follow my blog as I explore this topic. Please feel free to comment and ad to the conservation. I hope it is not overly ironic to say that I would love to read your thoughts.

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