February 18, 2008

Where You Go, I Will Go

This image was inspired by a difficult yet touching scene witnessed in Africa. A blind woman was begging on the streets of a crowded city with her daughter. Her daughter stayed close by her side, leading her carefully wherever they went.

Illustration-wise, I'm really happy with how this came out! I'd to make more pieces like this, inspired by some of my memories of Africa, and to tell the stories of people who don't have a voice over here.

One concern I have however, is the relationship of form to content - is this comic-book/disney-ish style appropriate for a piece about third world desperation? Does the caricatured style disrespect the subject, or gloss over the seriousness of their hardship? I'd love to see comic/animation artwork begin to tackle reality as well as it does fantasy. Perhaps the fact that this isn't the standard gritty photojournalistic depiction might enable the story of these two to reach a different audience?

I'd love to hear anyone's thoughts on the subject!


Midodok said...
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Midodok said...

I say use the dominant art form!!! I don't think it glosses over anything. In fact, by using the dominant art form like you have done here, you are actually doing something quite subversive. You are putting Africans right alongside Sleeping Beauty, Batman, Aladdin, and countless other American animated heroes. What better way to express that Africans are actually human, too?

I don't think choosing another style would be as effective. It might just have an exocitizing effect. I'm thinking of Aladdin versus the Theif and the Cobbler.

I really like the perspective in this image. Please keep posting often!

he said said...

Part of telling a story is imposing your own perspective on it. Comic style has been used for serious things successfully plenty of times. Maus, Chick Tracts, American Splendor, everything Sam Keith does anymore. It doesn't really seem to affect the message so much anymore. There will always be people who think comics are just for little kids, but there's not much you can do about that. Alan Moore even made some "best books of the 20th century" list with the Watchmen.

The other dude made a good point too. When Curtis switches into African storytelling mode, it uses a different art style that is easier to subconsciously skip past on the comics page because it's visually serious.

iandale said...

Hey guys, thanks so much for the great feedback!! I really appreciate you taking the time, these thoughts were really helpful to hear.