Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Arrival- Wordless Comics

Writing a comic without words seems like a huge challenge. I have read some before that I had a difficult time following. The Arrival however was done very well and there wasn’t really any point in the story that I did not know what was going on. I think Tan did the format in a very smart way. The comic contains lots of small images explaining every beat of the story. It was very similar to how we in the Computer Animation department do our animatics (moving storyboards). Tan also made very good composition choices. They were simple and clear. I’ve noticed in a lot of comics the artists will jump around from panel to panel. They will switch which side of the panel the characters are on for seemingly no reason and this can be jarring sometimes. The Arrival didn’t have this going on which I think enhanced the easiness of the read. Tan also saved all the complex detailed shots for full-page images, which allows the reader more time to soak in what they are seeing. The world Tan created was incredibly beautiful, and felt very real. I think this was because he drew everyone so realistic yet added all these surreal elements that made it feel like it could be photographs taken from another world. I really loved all the cute animal pets that everyone had. I think that was my favorite part of the whole comic. I would love to see this made into a movie. The world feels so complete; I think it could be done very easily.

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