Friday, September 18, 2009

Achieving clarity: Batman SNOW #194 page 16

One of the things that Seth advised in his list of illustration tips was to "use key objects to simplify your story telling". I was looking at a few pages of his from the Batman SNOW book, and trying to determine what he meant by that.
In this page, let's see what he has done. The scene takes place at the Gotham City waterfront, among the canneries and tackle shops, where nothing much that's legal happens at night. Seth sets the scene quite vividly in the large upper frame, with the planks of the pier on the right, and those rolling metal warehouse doors on the upper left. In front are the police detective and his cohort standing behind a wall. I am not sure if all these things could be termed "key objects", but they all help to set the scene so that one can tell easily at a glance what is happening. It doesn't require dialog to understand that the people in front are hidden from the people in the middle, or that something is going on that is probably against the law.
I think that's what Seth meant by "simplify your storytelling". He set the scene so clearly and plainly that the dialog doesn't have to do that job.
Key objects in the next two frames are (1)a bulldozer and (2)a truck filled with electronic surveillance materials. In just these three frames we have a good idea of what is happening here. Incidentally, the previous pages do not refer to what is going on here, so this one has to explain itself.

3 comments:

Mr. said...
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Mr. said...

I just found this book at the library the other day, I fell in love with the art so I purchased the Batman, Fantastic Four and the Flash trades. How I missed this when it first came out is beyond me. I guess it’s because I kind of kept to the old school masters; Neil Adams, King Kirby, etc but this, this gave me hope for the future of comic art. The details, the wit and pure genius is inspiring (it took me forever to finish reading the book because I kept going over each panel).

I opened up the FF book this morning to find out this brilliant artist had passed. I’m sorry for your loss and for all the beautiful work we will never get to see. I hope to see his work collected someday. I’ll keep checking back.

Thanks for keeping the site going.

Vicki said...

I am always glad when someone discovers Seth's work new. It is not everyone who understands how stunning it is. From what I have seen, the people who recognize the greatness of his work are those who in general are more mature than most comic book readers, and have the capability of looking deeper into life.
Thank you for your condolences. I appreciate it every time someone says that.
What do you mean when you say "see his work collected"? I have most of his work at our home. We would like to have more exhibitions, so that people could come and see a lot of his pages together, along with commentary.