Friday, September 16, 2011
Hero, one and only zero
I was going to write about sunglasses or eye enhancements on anti heroes as a forms of dissent and how the physiology of subject and object is changed by the use of these ophthalmological props. I am thinking about The Matrix and They Live. Sunglasses also feature highly in Grant Morrison's work. Grant Morrison is a well know author of contemporary hero comics like New X-Men, Fantastic Four, All-Star Superman, and Batman. He has breathed new life into the genre by deconstructing it. The Invisibles stands out in my mind as his most peculiar creation-"The plot follows (more or less) a single cell of The Invisible College, a secret organization battling against physical and psychic oppression using time travel, magic, meditation, and physical violence." -wiki on "The Invisibles" The strangeness of this particular narrative prompted me to spill a few words on these guardians of hygienic ontology. Then I started looking at the illustrative art associated with this body of work. I thought the great writing was wasted on the design end of the graphic novel as a vehicle. Some of it actually does break with classic mainstream cannon. But most of the art while skillfully executed, is cliche at best. The downfall of modern comics writing is along the lines of UFO theories. While it maybe entertaining to speculate how aliens pee on such extended journeys from their home planets, it is really unproductive in attempting to understand the phenomenon as a whole. In general the art is such a flat practical response to characters, that the phantasm of inspiration becomes neutered on a character in a knitted polo and cross trainers. They are not even brand specific. I would say you can really see how the artist see themselves through generalized cliche constructs of place and character study elements like clothing, but the artist aren't even looking at themselves, or specific features from life in general. They are drawing from interpretations of interpretations. That could be the biggest problem, maybe with illustration education in general. Think moms basement as studio, bedroom community as multi-verse! Gated stucco hives as halls of justice! And for god sakes please stop non-ironically using "gem tones" to color them with. Step away from the web only palette. Remember if your trying to be subversive subtlety is a good start. Thank you and good night, I be here all week.