Sunday, June 25, 2017

"Hitchcock's Alaska"

"They just don't make __________ like they used to do"
This has happened to me more times than I can remember when it comes to music. Movies too: not too long ago I underwent a Renaissance with silent films (Chaplin in particular) so as to develop a keener appreciation for the range and power of pantomime in humor. This translates well into cartoons. With Hitchcock (besides the analogous story structure as applied to longer narratives ie graphic novels) I'm also left wanting when comparing contemporary horror's sad and sadistic torture-porn with the work of the masters.

There's an exercise I sometimes spring on my drawing classes that involves sharpening one's observational skills (part of the trinity). Students look (I mean, really look) at an object for a minute, then try and recreate it purely from memory. Field-sketching works in the same way too: countless times we take field-trips to do reference sketches, only to discover late in the classroom or studio we forgot to faithfully record a miscellaneous detail.
The next step is to recreate an iconic image - or any object really - relying only on what you remember, and then match this visual memory with the source material to see what aspects align with reality. That unto itself is a lesson in how much leeway cartoons have, as many times all you have to do is merely trigger an association in the viewer's memory for the piece to work.


  1. I made the same observation about violence porn when watching a cop show on TV. While the official purpose of the scene is to spur your outrage, it's equally available to a darker impulse that gets its jollies from the situation.

    1. Quite the contrast with Adam-12...