Monday, November 3, 2008

Literal and Graphic, part three

Here we have two guys in capes and tights to compare with each other: Batman on top and Spiderman below. Seth drew this Batman series over a pretty long time, from about 2001 through 2003 (he was not given a deadline). This short Spiderman story he did at the same time he was working on Big in Japan, I think, or maybe right afterwards, so it was 2005. It has some of the most graphic, that is, non-literal work that Seth did. Very slick and clean. Actually, I don't have a scan of the image, but some reader complained that it was too graphic and not literal enough; there was a smiling sun on one page that they thought was what? not serious enough for a hero like Spiderman?
In any case, though there are many differences between them, both these pages have the caped hero charging into the middle of a situation to save the day. Both pages also have a crowd of surprised people in one frame. The Batman page has a realistic feel, with real-looking faces, and realistic reactions to the entree of a strong and competent superhero. The Spiderman page has caricatures of the main actors, a group of lunkheads attempting to copy their hero's actions. The whole page, indeed the whole story, has a caricaturish feel.
This page in particular is notable for its graphic design quality, with the guy falling off the building at the top of the page, careening through the air in the middle (with Spiderman catching him), and the crowd at the bottom of the building and bottom of the page, trying to get out of the way. The concept of the fall from the top of the page to the bottom really works.

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