Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dave Gibbons

This is Danny's "Random Blog Post."
Hope you enjoy.
The "Real" one is to come.

Dave Gibbons, the illustrator of the hit comic - er, I mean, graphic novel - "Watchmen," has a particular knack for detail and symbolic imagery.

For instance, in this first image, the decrepit wall above the man's head (Night Owl, for the curious) echos the emotion of the figure below. His rich textures clearly organize the frame so that the reader can quickly process the parallels between the objects (additionally, the empty suit next to the empty man. Quite something, really). Finally, even his minutia lend themselves to profound communication, such as the man's frowning face in examining the smiling pin (the object in his hand).

This phenomenon would not be quite so notable if it didn't hold for virtually every page of the book Watchmen. But, as you may have guessed, it does.

Gibbons has been drawing for a living pretty much from the start, writing his first fan comic at the age of 15 (Source). Even though comics are traditionally marginalized as somewhat juvenile, he manages to make really deep visual connections with the story and the reader. For example, take this bizarre picture. Frankly, this is really odd, but there is a lot of interesting material here. The bizarre sheen of the doll's hair is made to greatly contrast the rough green of the pilot's copter. In the second frame, when it takes on the pilot's perspective, the foliage (not the blue sky) becomes the background, establishing contrasting colors and textures for the different entities: smooth and garish for the doll, intricate and natural for the pilot.

And so on. Long story short, Gibbons has given an art style that has been reserved traditionally for children a nuanced revitalization, and that is what makes him worthy of a blog post.

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