Famed English street artist Banksy has created two pieces in response to the London Olympics. The two paintings appeared to have been crafted using his renowned stencil style, featuring athletes in a demonstration of their athletic power. One shows a man about to throw what appears to be a javelin, but is actually a missile. The second painting features a man performing a high jump, which is made to look like he’s jumping over a fence and onto an abandoned mattress. Interpretation on what they mean is open for discussion, but using a missile as a javelin seems to reflect the potential for danger at the London Olympics
The Medium we call comics is based on a simple idea.
The Idea of placing one picture after another to show the passage of time.
The potential of that Idea is limitless, but perpetually obscured by its limited application in popular culture.
To understand comics, we need to separate form from content ….
…. and see with clear eyes how other eras have used this same idea to beautiful ends ….
… and what a limited palette of tools and ideas our own era has used.
Comics is a language, its vocabulary is the full range of visual symbols ….
… including the power of cartooning and realism, both apart and in startling combinations.
The heart of comics lies in the space between the panels …
… where the reader’s imagination makes still pictures come alive !
It’s a process that can be quantified, classified …
… and even measured ..
yer remains utterly mysterious in the way it paints mental pictures.
In relying on visual sequence, comics substitute space for time .
Yet there is no conversion chart and time flows through comics ….
… in a staggering variety of ways.
Through their still images using only one sense …
…comics represents all the senses …
… and through the character of the lines themselves ….
…comics represents, the invisible world of emotion.
Lines evolving to become symbols in their own right …
… as they dance with the much younger symbols called …
Reunited after thousands of years apart …
…in a relationship far closer than in any other form.
Like other media, comics is merely a simple idea …
…in search of complex applications ….
…yet comics offers a medium of enormous breadth and control for the author …
… a unique, intimate relationship with its audience …..
…and a potential so great, so inspiring, yet so brutally squandered, it could bring a tear to the eye.
(thanks damien niolet and scott mccloud)
Here’s a novel concept: Take the best writers and artists in comics, give them only a handful of pages to work with, and ask them to create complete and compelling stories about the Dark Knight. The result is the fascinating, varied, and sometimes hilarious Batman: Black & White. If Batman’s legend were a diamond, this book would show you every facet.
Some of the stories in B&W are larks, some are very serious. Each shows a slightly different side of the Batman. My personal favorite is the Neil Gaiman/Simon Bisley romp “A Black & White World” which imagines Joker and Batman as actors playing out parts within the pages of a comic book.