Rather than spend my time trying to articulately bitch and moan about these movies, I’d rather laugh at other people bitching and moaning about these movies.
In a world full of movies and television, only one channel is keeping them honest – SCREEN JUNKIES!
Gregory Titus is a Boston-based Concept Artist and Illustrator at Pilot who worked on the packaging for the recent Transformers: Age of Extinction toys. As a TF fan, collector, designer and movie-goer, these boxes were the best thing the movie franchise had to offer this time around. On his website, Gregory discusses the collaborative nature of this project what it was like working for Hasbro while the movie was still in production.
Images come from www.gregorytitus.com.
Growing up, beyond my brother, I didn’t know anyone else that read comics. In middle school, I got my comics from drugstores and bookstores. It wasn’t until I was in high school that I started going to comic book stores, well, a comic book store. In this pre-Internet time, there was only one I knew about. Reading comics had become sort of a private thing for me. Even in the late 90s there were still considered juvenile. Perhaps out of some pang of shame, I never socialized with anyone I saw at these shops. But there was also a certain intimacy to buying this small, collectible object and taking it home to read.
It wasn’t until after college that I started introducing and sharing comics with my friends, most of who were not comic book readers. A conversation with an aspiring writer, after she read a comic for the first time, revealed that she read all the dialogue bubbles and narration boxes first, and then looked at the artwork. This helped her figure out what order she should read the sequence of panels. But the pages that she found challenging, I read with ease. It never occurred to me that comics utilized a learned language and my years of reading had allowed me to navigate experimental, and sometimes nonlinear, panel layouts.
When I started making my own comics, this conversation stayed with me. I decided to use the placement of text in my page compositions to lead the reader’s eye through the panel art in sequential order. Often, I have been able to draw a single, curving line through the page to illustrate the path one’s gaze would take.
Last night I attended The NY Comics & Picture-Story Symposium, which took place at Parsons The New School. Abigail Zitin, Assistant Professor of English at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ and the 2014–15 Carol G. Lederer Postdoctoral Fellow at the Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women at Brown University, spoke about William Hogarth and his book, The Analysis of Beauty.
William Hogarth (1697-1764) was an English painter, printmaker, pictorial satirist, social critic and editorial cartoonist. The Analysis of Beauty presents Hogarth’s theories of visual beauty and grace in a way that made such ideas accessible to the common man of his time, rather than just the elite. Unfortunately, the book is hampered by a constant acknowledgement of the author’s own insecurities concerning his talents and skill, which made Hogarth’s writing open to criticism and ridicule.
Hogarth has a number of notable theories, but the serpentine line, describing an S-shaped curved line appearing within an object, as the boundary line of an object, or as a virtual boundary line formed by the composition of several objects, struck a particular cord with me. To Hogarth, this S-shaped line signifies liveliness and activity and excites the attention of the viewer, contrasting straight lines, parallel lines, or right-angled intersecting lines, which signify stasis, death, or inanimate objects.
Hogarth was a self-made man of humble beginnings who, given his professional choices in life, probably had experiences similar to the criticism and acceptance of the 1980s and 90s comic book artist. As a comic book maker, I am self-taught. I learn by doing. And it’s humbling to be reminded that the ideas and techniques that I am exploring today were being explored, and defined, back in 1753.