Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thinking Outside the Box

Along with word balloons, panels are inherent to the comic book genre. No other media encases their art in tiny boxes arranged to tell a story. Throughout the history of comic books, we’ve seen artists explore the boundaries of this art form in very creative ways. Sergio Aragones used to draw little vignettes outside the page panels of Mad Magazine. Todd McFarlane used Spawn’s cape and chains as the boundaries of some of his panels. Sam Kieth drew some of his panels as puzzle pieces (apropos).

I’ve seen panels in the shape of a large sound effect; a panel shattering after the hero beat the living lights out of a villain; characters literally coming out of the panel. As an artist, I’m interested in pushing the intrinsic characteristics of the comic book medium.

For Metasearch I came up with the concept of panels coming out of shadows. This not only gave the book a signature look, but it helped create the mysterious atmosphere I wanted to convey. I especially liked the effect of the panel’s shadows mixing with the borders as if the figures were defined by negative space. Also, it looks as if the panels were lit by candle light, or were projected by an old 8mm projector, which adds to the mood. It is interesting how something that could be viewed as a limitation can be so freeing. I’ll see you in the page.

Oddman Out