Saturday, 9 November 2013

Some Analysis

The Image and Text book suggests the emblem books may very well be worth looking at. I'm beginning to see a pattern I think, with the exception of hybrid novels, everything that uses image and text together to create a narrative use words sparsely. The burden of the story is predominantly on the image. Hybrid novels (the definition ZoĆ« Sadokierski tend to lean towards) use visual aids that express things more efficiently than text, like graphs and diagrams. Or ephemera, or even illustrations depicting ephemera.
I'm really interested in the use of ephemera and objects out of context. I think they give the audience the sense that they are the character, which is especially effective in the mystery novels they are often applied in, where its necessary for the protagonist to see these objects and figure out their context to solve the puzzle. Hugo cabaret devotes page spreads to these sorts of clues:
There also instances where Selznick incorporates Movie stills and sketches into the book which once again ground it in a tangible reality the audience can participate in. The Savage also uses objects out of context, for example the axe, knife and fork on page nine:
But I think since its within the context of the page, the mystery element is lost. Its sort of primitive in a way, I have brothers and I remember when we were young they use to draw guns and other weapons in isolation like this over and over. I suppose I could liken it to cave paintings, loads of isolated expressionless elements. No offense brothers, your laser canons were very nice. Mckean also uses illustrations of single leaves throughout the book but I think that's more decorative than anything else.

I've made a start on the William Blake note but I keep reading rather than scanning. Better luck tomorrow:

  •  The best work in this field seems to comes from an author who is also an artist. "The artist Blake was privileged to draw what the poet Blake saw in the turbulence of his imaginings, whether or not image and text corresponded literally." (Hodnett, 1982, p85)
  •  His early books were like artist books today, limited run, hand crafted.
  • Anatomy wasn't the best but his characters were very expressive but he developed a style in which his limitation would work. "By reducing most of his figures to nudes, by picturing types rather than individuals, and by generalizing or eliminating backgrounds, Blake sought to achieve a sense of universality, and to a degree he succeeded" (Hodnett, 1982, p85)
  • He wrote text in reverse in his relief etchings.
  • In his early books Blake drew figures where there was space around the text, later he gave his illustrations more space.

*sigh* The motivation behind this study is still to equip me with the tools I need to create a book that relies on a mixture of prose and image. But no one seems to have done it and I'm full of angst about it being too ambitious. But the whole concept arose out of laziness. I could use the usual format of continuous prose and when words failed me, since words aren't my strong point, I could beef it up with pictures, the one thing I'm really good at.
Maybe the people who've thought about doing it haven't had the necessary skills are motivation. At least that way I only have to focus on sustaining my motivation... and the logistics of working on a picture book when I'm homeless and living in a dumpster after uni.

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