marți, 30 septembrie 2014

luni, 29 septembrie 2014

Alexandru Oprescu : "The Graphic Novel" (7)

Alexandru Oprescu
The great contribution that the comic book, and later its ‘cousin,’ the graphic novel, has had on pop-culture makes it a subject that needs to be analyzed with much more rigorousness, especially the way in which it has drawn from the literary and visual arts and created a new medium of expression. Through this endeavor, not only the result of this metamorphose of arts is to be discovered, but it also highlights the almost infinite metamorphic value that literature, drawing, painting have, alone or, in this case, combined—ultimately the human imagination channeled through more and more different forms of expression.
It is in the capacity of no other art currently known to put to use, with an exquisitely natural result, the other arts of human culture, and this is why the graphic novel can be considered the ultimate metamorphosis of the visual-textual dimension.

duminică, 28 septembrie 2014

Alexandru Oprescu: "The Graphic Novel" (6)

4. The Spatio-Topical Realm
4.1 The panel and its elements
The fundamental part of any comic is the panel. It is the atom, in the Greek sense of the word a-tomos­, the smallest and indivisible part of a comic book that any research should start at. The panel has, indeed, its more minute details and characteristics such as composition, color or placement, but analyzing these parts alone, devoid of the larger context the panel offers, has proven to be an infructuous endeavor.
A comprehensive definition of a panel and its major importance in the economy of a comic book can be found in the System of Comics:
In its habitual configuration, the panel is presented as a portion of space isolated by blank spaces and enclosed by a frame that insures its integrity. Thus, whatever its contents (iconic, plastic, verbal) and the complexity that it eventually shows, the panel is an entity that leads to general manipulations. (Groensteen, 2007)

sâmbătă, 27 septembrie 2014

Alexandru Oprescu: "The Graphic Novel" (5)

3. Forms of Comics and the Cognitive Process of Reading Them
3.1 The misleading of terms

Will Eisner
The word comic is misleading in itself, setting the prejudice that the main theme or aim is the gag, or the joke, while, for a large number of contemporary comic strips humor is not a primary target at all, or, in some cases, it is achieved in a more profound, literary sense. The United States has adopted the comic or comic strip terms around the 1900’s, when there was indeed a period of humorous publications of naïve inspiration, and stuck with it to define the whole sequential art, as Will Eisner would call this art form in the mid-80s, in his own attempt to devoid this art form of any prejudice.
In contrast, the Franco-Belgian term is bande dessinée, which translates into “drawn strip.” BDs, in short, are the mirroring phenomena in Europe, having a great success in the francophone world and still attracting a lot of fans nowadays. Using the same morphology, Germans used Bildergeschichteor Bilderstreifen, which is along the lines of “picture story” and “picture strip,” respectively—although they later taken over the American term.  These two terms are free of the aforementioned prejudice, but they are still loose terms, which, in the given situation, isn’t that bad. The insistence of trying to keep comic strips and graphic novels two different genres also comes from an American cultural and academic prejudice that comics are somewhat sub‑literature or juvenile at best. This problem is inexistent in Europe, where BDs are a well‑established literary and artistic form. Thanks to this, there is no true equivalent of the graphic novel present, the bande dessinée encompassing both the adult comics and the ones for children, everything living harmoniously under the same roof.

luni, 22 septembrie 2014

Alexandru Oprescu: "The Graphic Novel" (4)

2.4 The Golden Age of Comics in America

 The success of reprinting the old, serialized comic strips from the daily newspapers took the publishers by surprise. By 1935, the material runs out and the companies find themselves in the situation of seek for new, original material to satisfy the growing need for comic books. June 1938 is the date where all comics historians converge in opinion, that the Golden Age for the comic book beganin the first issue of Action Comics, a comic book anthology.Two artists that got rejected for years with their original comic concept, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, get published with what is to become a national and world-wide phenomenon: Superman. A copy of the first issue of Action Comics, featuring the archetypal superhero, would end up selling in 2010 for the fabulous sum of $1.5 million, an indisputable evidence of the scale and influence Superman has had over pop‑culture since its creation over 70 years ago. With the immense success of this ew type of character, the demand for superheroes in comics became overwhelming, this breed of vigilantes ending up to dominate the industry completely during and after the Golden Age. Heroes like Dick Tracy or Flash Gordon captured the imaginations of young Americans. Over the next years, Detective Comics (which is the huge DC Comics company nowadays) create iconic superheroes like Batman, Flash, Green Lantern, Hawkman or Aquaman.
1939 is the year when Timely Comics was founded, which later became Marvel, another giant in the industry to this date, and top rival of DC Comics. Superheroes like The Sub-Mariner, the Human Torch or Captain America were selling millions of copies.
While in ’39, the number of companies that published comics was 7, printing around 50 comic book titles, in 1940 the number of original titles reached a staggering number of 250, published by 24 firms.

duminică, 21 septembrie 2014

Alexandru Oprescu: "The Graphic Novel" (3)

2. The History of Comics
The history of the comic book is one long and interesting journey through the centuries, being very well documented by comic historians both from the U.S. and Europe. Following its footsteps, this history does not only reveal the continuous progress and development of the art itself, but carries with it the history of the world, entrapping in the panels and speech balloons the eventful and beautiful parts of the societies in which, and for which, they have been created. Although the later years of the comic book are crystal clear and can be found in many comic history books nowadays, the origins of this sequential art are still up for debate.There is an almost general consensus that the links between comics and thousand years old sequential depictions are not coincidental, but there are still questions to be answered by the better of the academic community in order to conclude that there was a natural and conscious progression from Trajan’s column, for example, to the colorful interconnected panels that we see nowadays.
In the following pages, the most important steps of the comic book have been reproduced, and more in depth analyzes were performed where it was necessary, to illustrate in a methodical manner the process of development. It is in no way meant to be an exhaustive route, but putting everything in the right context is needed, in order to further dwell in the machinations and complexities of the art form.

luni, 15 septembrie 2014

Alexandru Oprescu : "The Graphic Novel" (2)

The ultimate metamorphosis of the visual-textual dimension

1. Defining the Comic
Although the modern medium through which the graphic novel is conveyed has over 100 years, the graphic novel is a form of art that still hasn’t been exactly defined. Deriving from the much more popular—or rather wider spread—comic (comic strip), the graphic novel is loosely explained by the Encyclopedia Britannica as “a type of text combining words and images—essentially a comic, although the term most commonly refers to a complete story presented as a book rather than a periodical.” (Encyclopedia Britannica) This very definition ultimately shows the arguable nature of the term, which sets very loose bounds, if any.
In defense of the evasiveness, which can be encountered in any attempt of creating an eloquent definition, the academic study of comics has yet to beget an all‑encompassing terminology that will give the comic definition[1] a proper weight.

vineri, 12 septembrie 2014

Alexandru Oprescu : "The Graphic Novel" (1)

The ultimate metamorphosis of the visual-textual dimension

It is a very rare thing, if not unique in the history of universal culture, that an art with such a great mass that accedes to it has such a small mass of academical research. As a comparison, Don Quixote is said to have a sales number of over 500 million copies over a span of 400 years, being the best-selling book in the history of literature. Garfield, on the other hand, has 263 million readers a day. Keeping the proportions and obvious differences between the two mediums, it is safe to say that for an art form that has been around, in its most polished form, for around one hundred years, it is an extraordinary achievement.
Considered the father of comics, the creator of what he called “stories in etchings,”Genevan Rodolphe Töpffer (1799–1846), this visionary artist and writer recognized the value of this art form in his 1845 work Essai de physiognomonie, inadvertently making his significant contribution to shaping the imagination of future generations.

joi, 11 septembrie 2014

Zobb – un E.T. dans Bucarest

cronique par François Montier

« Si Bucarest fut appelée « La petite Paris » au début du XXème siècle, elle en garde aujourd’hui quelques traces. Curieusement Parisiens et Bucarestois sont affublés des mêmes clichés de la part des provinciaux et ces derniers reçoivent en retour une flopée de préjugés peu réjouissants. Mais les lumières de la capitale restent toujours aussi attractives que ce soit en France ou en Roumanie. Pour se moquer de tous les petits travers de la vie quotidienne, Octav Ungureanu a créé Zobb, un extraterrestre aux grands yeux noirs dotés de 4 bras qui débarque de sa planète pour mieux observer les habitants de Bucarest et tous leurs défauts. »

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vineri, 5 septembrie 2014

Budapesta: Întâlnire la vârf

În cursul lunii august s-au întâlnit la Budapesta, în cadrul unui eveniment unic şi irepetabil, maeştrii benzii desenate româneşti Puiu Manu şi Livia Rusz.

joi, 4 septembrie 2014

Galeria „Chuck Jones” din San Diego

Cred că toată lumea îşi aminteşte cu plăcere de celebrul strigăt  „Beep! Beep!”  al ultra-rapidului  Road Runner,  urmărit (urmărit ?) de coiotul Wile.
Sau de Bugs Bunny.... Sau de Duffy Duck....Sau de Tom şi Jerry.