31st OCTOBER–happy Halloween, and new theme to discuss!

Storytellers and propagandists –picture books, illustrators, polemics and posters: the role of narrative and persuasion in drawing

PLEASE NOTE: 31st was scheduled as Open day at GSA so we could not get access to venues for this elective course. In addition, there is also strike action by UNISON workers on this day as well; in short, there will be no face-to-face teaching or workshop this week. Our final activity will therefore be an off-campus self-directed BLOG entry only: this week’s theme is ‘Storytellers and propagandists –picture books, illustrators, polemics and posters: the role of narrative and persuasion in drawing.’ Post at least one image and 100-300 words of reflection, analysis and context. Please post your own material and then review and comment on some of the other contributions from the other members of this group, I’d like it if you could then find new items to develop any of these conversations and post these too, with best wishes, Frances

I have put up some images from a graphic novel–a fairly straightforward choice for this topic–and also an image from Goya’s Disasters of War series of prints. First the Goya: this image, ‘Fuerte cosa es! -It’s a hard thing’ shows a brutal French soldier and a hanged Spanish woman. The series isn’t that straighfroward for Goya, though, he had supported the French Napoleonic invasion of Spain initially because it got rid of a repressive, conservative and (to his mind) superstitious regime of aristocrats and clergy. But things got too complicated–peasants and ordinary people staged an underground resistance to the clumsy and brutal French forces, the first example of guerrilla war, in fact, and this escalted into a brutal series of reprisals and atrocities on both sides. Goya wanted to tell the veiwer about the purposelessness and futility of any kind of warfare.

goya The second two images are from Rutu Modan’s ‘Exit Wounds’– the cover and part of the story. What I like in this book is the wonderful strength of the narrative and characterisation–some graphic novels are more ‘graphic’ than worthwhile story. I also relish the close coordination of the images and the style of drawing with that text–it is the story of a rather large gawky girl and her prickly friendship later love affair with a taxi driver in contemporary Isael. What I particularly like about this ligne clair style (similar to herge’s approach) is the way in which the apparently unemotional line works to trace out a meaning as we look, to me it reproduces to me as a reader the pleasure I get from blind contour drawing, trusting the process to turn into unexpected views of really  solid, convincing things and events in the world around me: here they are–

rutu modan 1                            rutu modan 2


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