Comicana

or by it’s full title “The Lexicon of Comicana” is one of those books which keeps surprising and amusing you, just by looking randomly in it.  The official description goes like this: “Written as a satire on the comic devices cartoonists use, the book quickly became a textbook for art students. Walker researched cartoons around the world to collect this international set of cartoon symbols. The names he invented for them now appear in dictionaries.” 
comicanaThe subject matter of this book are all those small drawings that comic book artists use to describe the state of mind of their characters or for setting the mood of the story…. whether the basic idea was satire or not, Mort Walker, added something rare to comic books back in 1980 when Comicana first came out: self-analysis and introspective reflexions. The comments, definitions and thoughts that he shared back then are still very up to date and largely adopted by people wanting to add a perspective to comic book history and the history of comic books.

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December 23, 2008 at 7:06 pm Leave a comment

100 bullets #12

100bullets12_dirtyLast night – often I read a comic before falling asleep…. you know what they say; a comic a day keeps the doctor away. Sometimes, I take a break during the day where I catch up on the more technical reading, like “How to draw Noir Comics” by Shawn Martinbrough or “The Lexicon of Comicana” by Mort Walker – more about these in a separate post. So, last night, I caught up on the saga of Agent Graves in the 12th volume of 100 Bullets and I just love the artwork of  Edoard Risso (think I got most of what has been published, either in English or French). Brian Azzarello is still keeping the story going, but I now start to loose track of the initial compelling idea of getting a briefcase with 100 untraceable bullets allowing you to be above, or rather way below, the law. Now the story line, built up of several shorter, yet somewhat loosely connected stories, is about how the families (I lost track of how many they were/are) mutually cleans up their past “relationships”. Having said that, love the artwork, still in to the story and waiting to get my fingers around #13

December 12, 2008 at 9:45 am Leave a comment

Largo Winch 16

I enjoyed reading the 16th volume of the ongoing series Largo Winch. Just like I’ll always go a see a James Bond movie for the action, the gadgets and the Bond Girls, I’ve read all the Largo Winch albums for the action, the sexy girls, the almost impossible change of situations in the mafia like world of international business where Largo is pursuing his dad’s business he inherited in the first album.

Just like the other 15 albums, there is a lot of text to explain the somewhat convoluted story only interrupted by a few action packed pages every so often – just like the Bond films. The style is fairly classical, both concerning coloring, text, layout and framing. The drawings are realistic and the excitement and fantasy is in the plot not in the pictures. Don’t misunderstand me, I love the series and will remain a fan forever. Actually I learning to admire the different stories and styles of Van Hamme, but more about this in another post.

This album and the series in general, has enough punch and plot to make a good film(s)… tbc 🙂

December 10, 2008 at 4:34 am Leave a comment

Moonfleet – la crypte des Mohune

Read this album a few days ago and the liked not only the plot but also the drawings. The main character is a young adult, soon to be without any family at all and thrown in to the men’s world by discovering certain mysterious events linked to the parish church in their small fisher villagemoonfleet01

The style is close to what I would call classical French BD style yet with a subtle use of coloring and a change in size of the frames. This is especially done in the first part of the comics, including repeated picture within a picture, allowing for close ups or to emphasize details and point out the elements that might otherwise have been passed on unnoticed. These changes in frame size slows down the reading and adds some mystery to the story. As it’s a crime / pirate story taking place some hundred years ago this simple technique quickly draws you in to the story – at least it did for me.

 

As the story becomes more action oriented continuously building up the plot the size and layout of the frames becomes more conventional facilitating the reading of the story. Talking of reading, there is a pleasant mix of dialog, comments and plain frames of drawings. Most of the text is dialog which makes the story flow easily as we get more and more intrigued by the various events.

Liked it very much and I am looking forward to get my hands on 2nd volume.

December 10, 2008 at 4:20 am Leave a comment

EuroComics

Hello everybody enjoying reading comic books and graphic novels just like me.

I’ll use the word comics in this blog, even if some people prefer graphic novels, comic books, sequential art books, drawn novels or visual narration books. Internationally, most people refer to comics by BD short for Bande Dessinées, other by fumetti, historietta, bulles, tegneserier..

I’ve been reading and collecting comics as long as I can remember, which is already quite some time, and I have decided today to share my interest and passion for comics with all of you. Born in Denmark and have lived in France or a long time my collection of comics is mainly based on European albums – as they are called in France. Over the next days, weeks, months, years, I’ll share my thoughts and impressions on the comics that I read, especially the ones I’ve enjoyed the most.

Looking forward to read your comments, thoughts and critics as I publish mine

Mikael Vaede

November 8, 2008 at 6:58 pm Leave a comment


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