Monday, September 29, 2008

more character ID: Victor Fries

There are a lot of recurring characters in this Batman story. The challenge is to allow the reader to recognize each of them instantly, no matter what angle they are seen from.
Victor Fries is hard. After he becomes Mr Freeze he always wears an intergalactic-looking snow suit, but as an empathetic character in the first two issues, he is pretty regular. He has a lot of hair, as does Batman himself, though Fries' hair is not colored in, which makes it lighter colored. But that is not enough for an ID. His face is not especially distinctive and he doesn't wear funny glasses. The only two things that make his person recognizable are that his hair is longish with a curl on the side that seems to kind of fly out from his head. And his suspenders. If you see a guy in suspenders, that's Victor.
He appears in the page on the left on his way to work. Various people speak to him, which identifies him when you read the words, but for an artist, that is not enough; you can't let the text do your work for you. We must know who he is without text. But as you look at these two pages, you can tell, I am sure, without the words. He is walking by himself, center of attention, but he also is the only one wearing suspenders. This makes a particular difference in the image at the bottom, where we see him from behind and above. That's him alright, walking purposefully toward his office.

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