#593 – dick pulp

Around this time I started using a lot more reverse 3/4 shots of the characters where their faces are obscured, and the posing and composition tell more of a story. I think Scott McCloud noted in his book that American cartoonists are less prone to show their characters from behind than their Asian & European counterparts. Just reaching back into my creaky memory, I think it's part of how central the Hero is to American storytelling, as opposed to the world they inhabit. Obviously these cultural styles have been mixing for a while now. But on top of that, as OP became more of an ensemble - not just accessories to Eve's story - I think a larger world made more sense to me. Or maybe at this point the characters are just at the mercy of the world: the passage of time, the chaos, the lack of control, and it makes them seem smaller, more hidden. In the moment I try not to intellectualize too much of this stuff, I like to be guided by instinct, and I don't always know the reason. This is just my best guess. Dick pulp!

9 thoughts on “#593 – dick pulp

  1. That is a fantastic name for a hardboiled detective.

    1. Dick Pulp, Private Eye! (DAAA-DA-DAAA-DA-DA-DAAAAAA!!)
      Brought to you by… Cigarettes!

    2. A good number of years ago my GF (now wife) and I saw a little show in the East Village called Dick Danger.

      “If you don’t know Danger, you don’t know Dick!”

      At the time I was unaware but as a CT suburbanite it will likely be the most Octopus Pie thing I’ve ever done in my life.

  2. Ironic that you opted to put the most reverse 3/4 shots in the silliest panel of this page.

  3. I love reading your comments on each page, it's so cool to get the behind-the-scenes perspective on a cartoonist's work!

  4. I have always loved how Japanese manga uses the obscuring of characters features when they want the reader to fill in the expression, It really succeeds at conveying emotion because it draws from the reader's personal well of reactions and makes the character a relatable emotional mirror.

    1. In light of how manga/anime artists often draw black people in particular (looking at you, Akira Toriyama), your remark is ironically hilarious.

      1. Not sure what do you mean here or how the portrayal of black people in manga relates to my comment. Also, I don't think that there's anything problematic with Toriyama's portrayal of black people? I mean, it's cartoonishly exaggerated like everything he does, but as an example for its time, Staff Officer Black from the Red Ribbon Army was leagues ahead of the common portrayal of PoC in Western media.

        1. Specifically referring to the cartoonish exaggeration. I mean, that same portrayal can be seen in, for example, Dutch in Black Lagoon.

          My point was that your remark doesn't apply to all characters. You generally know what a black character in manga/anime is thinking even though they go to great lengths to either make them as quiet or as loud as possible with little ground in between.

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