Monday, December 22, 2008

lightening a dark story

I think this is an example of Seth's idea that "if you want to write about darkness you will hit the mark the most directly by telling a light story and letting the reader find the darkness." Here, Dr. Fries has killed his beloved wife accidentally while trying to use his invention to cure her. He is angry at the world because he had created something with the potential for healing, but his associates perverted it to use it for warfare. His wife is coming to him, King Hamlet style, with behind the scenes knowledge of what his associates are planning and how he can avenge her death. In Seth's hands she doesn't come as an avenging angel, or a sexy death goddess. She comes as a kind of 50's era snow princess, wearing Ugg boots, a stiff dress, and a really goofy hat. She wears long gloves and carries in her hand a wand with a 3-dimensional snowflake. She is cute and silly enough to make the reader smile in the midst of a situation that is tragic and horrific. This technique assures that a reader who does not want to be moved by a comic book story will keep reading, and will get the message even while he thinks he is staying aloof.


Frans Boukas said...

This page and the second page after the next are really inspirational for me. I rediscovered Seth after thinking he was a Darrow rip-off with this issue of Dark Knight. I was blown away by these pages a tracked down the rest of his work. Big in Japan brought me out of a huge artistic depression. Thank you for doing this blog. Also would it would be possible to post the B&W of this page.

Vicki said...

I would love to post the b/w of this page, but the original is in Japan, and I don't have a scan or photo of it. Seth left color scans of almost all the pages of this Batman series, but not b/w ones. I prefer to post the originals, not the colored pages; for the most part I like them better. But sometimes all I have is the colored page.
I am glad that Seth's work had a good effect on your own. He would like that; encouraging other artists was one of the themes of his life.