Friday, 21 November 2014

Deep Sequencing: By Kiss or Proximity

Or an examination of smooching in By Chance Or Providence
By Becky Cloonan.

When you follow too many comics people on twitter, you end being a huge snoop on some pretty interesting conversations. Which you know, makes you feel like an eavesdropping creep, but can also deliver some interesting tidbits about the comics industry or comics craft. And this entire post is predicated on seeing a conversation between creators.

Specifically, I "overheard" Kieron Gillen complimenting Beck Cloonan on her skills at drawing people kissing (or specifically that he wanted Cloonan to art-direct his own smooches). To which Becky Cloonan replied that "it's the "almost kiss" that is the most important part to draw". Which I thought was an instructive and interesting point worth exploring. And I realized that I recently read By Chance Or Providence and that there was a lot of pretty intense smooching in that comic and that I remember all of it being really well drawn.

And then I thought, that By Chance Or Providence is the comic with maybe the most passionate kissing I could think of.

So I went looking for images depicting people actually kissing and panels depicting the moment just before (or just after) to essentially explore the difference between the two shots and to test Becky Cloonan's theory about drawing kisses using her own artwork.

And I found something surprising.

There are almost no panels of people actually kissing in that comic.

Instead there are panels depicting people "almost" kissing, that are these perfect depictions of yearning and passion and which create the emotional feeling of kissing.

And that it is these "almost kiss" panels that make me remember a comic that has a lot more passion and smooching than comics that depict more actual kisses. Actually, the "almost kiss" panels are so well done that I actually remember there being more passion than is directly portrayed in the comic. It is really, really effective stuff.

So, I guess the Cloonan Theory of Smooching holds up to scrutiny.

And you should definitely read By Chance or Providence.

Post by Michael Bround

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