Monday, May 23, 2011

Making Comics - All*Star Superman

Scott McCloud talks about facial expression beginning on page 80, focusing a bit later on elements like exaggeration (pg. 94) to get a point across quicker, or to show the gravity of a situation or encounter when subtlety isn't something you're going for. There is of course a way to achieve these things using correct anatomy, but in comics you have a little more free range of emotions to manipulate.

In All*Star Superman the character of Lex Luthor often portrays the look of condescension, anger or deviousness (sometimes all three in a good day). What I thought was great in reading this was noting not just how the artist Frank Quitely uses an expression to carry one of these emotions across, but actually uses the character himself to make this exaggeration. I noticed this particular scene being a little bizarre until I went back several pages and noticed how one of Lex's eyebrows rubs off following an intense--and sweaty--situation. Lex Luthor appears to be one of those individuals born without any bodily hair (attributing to his baldness). When it is pointed out to him that one half of his brow is now absent, he physically draws on an absurdly exaggerated brow denoting the aforementioned deviousness, and just in time for the climax of his evil monologue. It's both funny and disturbing. Good job, Frank.

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