Thursday, September 15, 2011

Sopwith Camel Vs. Camel on a Magic Carpet

We continued on with our focus on art today. I brought in 20 or so graphic novels and then had the students compare the different art styles. Some of the artists represented were Carl Barks, Herge, Stan Sakai, Mark Schulz, Andy Runton, Chris Sprouse, Craig Thompson, Lewis Trondheim, Manu Larcenet, George Pratt, Jordan Crane, Dave McKean, David Mazzuchelli, Walt Holcombe . . . I forget who else. Writing them down, I realize that they were all men, like every other artist I've spotlighted, which is an inequality I really need to address one of these days.

Pop Quiz! Can you tell the difference between these art styles?

A. Walt Holcombe

B. George Pratt

Bonus points if you can place both artists on McCloud's Representation/Picture Plane/Idea pyramid.

Anyway, my criteria for selecting books were that they be non-superhero comics, preferably self-contained, and that they not contain profanity or nudity or other R-rated content. That last requirement knocked out a bunch of big name cartoonists like, say, Robert Crumb. 

If you had set yourself the goal of finding 20 different cartoonists with 20 different art styles you might have a hard time of it. I, on the other hand, could just stroll into my dining room and look over the bookshelf for a few minutes. You see, world? It's a good thing I've bought all these comics over the years! My obsession has paid off. Who's laughing now?

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