Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Flash: Time Flies pages 2-3

The other day my husband asked me about Flash: Time Flies. He said that he had never actually seen that comic book. I got out a copy so that he could look at it, and he reiterated that it was new to him. This is the one for which Seth was nominated for an Eisner award, in 2003, though I think it was actually for this together with Vertigo Pop Tokyo.

This book is my least favorite of Seth's works, mostly because of what is probably best about it: its virtuoso use of perspective and its emphasis on its science-fiction backgrounds.
This double-page spread, however--the prelude to the story--finds us in a contemporary American city, where a test pilot has just taken his plane through the speed of sound, and then faster and faster until he gets so fast that something funny happens with Time itself. It is only when I read the text and realize that Seth had to come up with images for the concepts in this book that I realize how inventive his pictures are. He managed to put clarity into what are really non-visual ideas. This page is so nice looking that you can almost miss how a very strange scientific concept is made both clear and--to a non-scientist like me--believable.

Seth always wanted to do comic books of his own stories. I always said that his own ideas were so mathematical that the audience for them would be limited to the very few people in the world who love and understand math as he did. This story shows how he took a mathematical/scientific concept and loved it into reality. The next post will show more.

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