Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lightning Strikes - Fine art versus comic art

"Fine Art" is a broad term... The American Heritage Dictionary defines it as "Art produced or intended primarily for beauty rather than utility." This can actually be sculpure, painting, or music even. Now, how does that relate to comic book art? If someone is a good "Artist" does that mean they will automatically be a good "Comic Book Artist"? I SAY THEE NAY! I've seen people comment that comic books can't be fine art.... I really don't see why that can't be the case. Though artists are working from a printed script, typically, they are still creating an image intended to evoke some sort of emotional response, tension, love, movement, action, death, getting hit by a bullet, etc. If the comic book art isn't the fine art, does that mean the script is? I'd say why not both...

The image I attached is by Denman Rooke and, believe it or not, this is going to be in a comic book, it's a random sequential image from the book. I took it out of context so you don't know what it ties to or anything, but I bet you can guess, right? Dark and stormy night, foreboding coloring, etc... you get the idea. Is this fine art? Well, Denman IS a fine artist... he does artistic paintings not related to comic books, just from his own head, inspired by whatever may inspire him. The correlation between what he does as a "Fine Artist" seems to translate well to comic books (if you saw some of the other pages, you'd throw out an AMEN to that).

Now, on the othe side, though... Great Fine Artists DOES NOT mean automatically you can do comic books. Fine art may involve inspiration, but rarely from a form such as a script, which asks you to draw something often very specific. Some artists can't handle that. Also with sequential artwork, you need to make sure there is a logical progression between panels, if you knock down a lamp in one panel, it's still knocked down in the next, for example. Some can't handle that, either. Several fine artists I've spoken with can't really work with a script, even if they're basic, without heavy heavy explanations. For me to say something is heavy, well it would be like several paragraphs for one panel or just surrender creative control and "get what I get", which doesn't work for me.

That's it for now! Denman, better to ask for forgiveness than permission to post the image and pick on you! :P

By the way, all, that image WILL appear in a comic book in some way, shape, or form in the coming months, it's from a horror mini-series I'm working with him on.

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