vrijdag 15 april 2011


Okay. I'm actually not really into the superhero-stuff. But since I find it hard to find Watchmen, Sparks and Invincible (Because I don't want to pay for them to watch at the moment) I started to review some other comics.

The first I would like to discuss a little is 'Spider-Woman'.
From the first moment on I really liked the intro! Just like the start of a movie added with sinister music. Right after that it starts of in a dark environment and continues until the end. The design and drawings happen to be the style just how I like it! Dark and intense! As for the motion or animation: (Let's keep it animation ok? We're already having trouble defining 'graphic novel') I find it well balanced. It's a little on the edge, but just enough not to get me annoyed and saying this is a cartoon. The voices are well recorded as well as the rest of the sound design. Not like different layers placed on top of each other, but a right mix!
And not to forget the character and story. It stays a short period but I felt kinda fascinated with the main character. When she is thinking, a reverb is added to her voice. It gives way more draft. The conversations are not to fast and are much more easy to follow than N.

The second is 'Gifted' of X-Men.

To be honest, I watched it for only 4 or 5 minutes. This is just what i'm not  looking for. For as far as I'm concerned, this is a cartoon, and I was not amused. The sound was quite good. But it's just that the animation was too much! No further marks.

I still hope to get Watchmen as soon as possible and post a review about it. As soon as I found what I'm looking for, I'll also give you some insights into the story I'm writing for my animated graphic novel.
Stay tuned again and have a nice weekend!

zondag 10 april 2011

A graphic what?... ("Een graphic novel? Nee nog nooit van gehoord." )

Allright! Step back! I realized that I actually never gave a real definition of the term 'Graphic Novel'. So I owe you I guess! I'll try to get to a good definition as best as I can, since I've seen a lot of different definitions in the last years. And as the graphic novel is a rising medium in the Netherlands not everybody is yet acquainted with the term.

The graphic novel is a narrative work in which the story is conveyed to the reader using sequential art in either an experimental design or in a traditional comics format. (from the Oxford English Dictionary, I find this the best definition).
As much media do, the comic developed itself during the sixties and from there on. With the new millennium, the graphic novel rose in popularity in the Netherlands, and the term was adopted. But...! The term got adopted, as well as adapted. I find it very annoying when these situations occur in the Netherlands. It makes it hard to get to a well definition. Eddie Campbell also encountered this problem and formulated his Graphic Novel Manifesto (Thank you Eddie!). Because the term is now used to explain that comics are no longer just for kids but for the big audience. The graphic novel marked the adultery of the comic. And here's another definition that is used: "A graphic novel is a layered story, wrapped in compelling images." Themes vary from autobiography, humour, war, fantasy, love, music, philosophy and so on, and often in a literary style aimed at the adult reader. 

Here are some interesting links as well (Dutch and English):

For my research I'll also read the following literature and articles:

  • A Comic-Book World, Stephen E. Tabachnick, march-april 2007
  • The rise and reason of comics and graphic literature, McFraland & Company, september 2010
  • Understanding comics, Scott McCleod, 1994
  • Using Graphic Novels, Anime, and the Internet in an Urban High School, Nancy Frey and Douglas Fisher, january 2004

zondag 3 april 2011

What works?

Stephen King's N, a digital graphic novel

This week I... well.. Ok. I watched the digital comic adaptation of Stephen King's N. I'm still more used to say: "read comics." This also occurs when I say that I listened a book instead of that I read a book, since I listen to audio-books. I get to that later.

I was under the impression of this graphic adaptation. I was partially dragged into the story. I did a quick analysis and summarized what I liked and disliked.

The story of a man obsessed about a creepy place and discusses it with his psychiatrist, who then inherits the obsession of his patient, fascinates me and is stimulated by the pace, the story is told. The drawings done by Alex Maleev, colored by José Villarrubia, really emit the atmosphere of the situation the antagonists find themselves placed in. There's not to much of animation, what could almost make it just another sort of short-animation.
It can be viewed on small screens like a mobile phone or on the website. Almost exactly the way that I can imagine the form of the digital/animated graphic novel. There are 25 episodes, of each 1.30 min.. Now they can all be found on the website, but in August 2008 you could download a new episode every week or so.

So let's get to the 'dislikes'. I wasn't very fond of the sound-design. It was overdone, which leads to separation in my experience: The images, and the sound. I find they should be merged. The voices where way to fast. In a way it contributes to the atmosphere of the entire story, but this is just what I mean with putting pressure on the audience. I favour to decide my own pace.

Because of dyslexia I have some trouble reading books. I tackle this by 'reading' audio-books or radio-dramas. Like with books I can decide my own pace and, depending on the reader, get dragged into the story most of the times.
Two of my favourites are: 'The Whole Truth, David Baldacci' (Hachette Audio) and 'De Moker, NTR' a radio-drama. The Whole Truth is very well read and some scenes are supported by music, playing softly on the background. I remember I rewind some scenes because they were so cool!
De Moker is a Dutch radio-drama about the battle of De Wallen, Amsterdam. The voices are done by well-known actors. It's like you're listening to a movie! Watch a small making-of down here!

So!? Well simply saying: combine the 'like'-elements of 'N', with the elements of the audio-books and radio-drama right? Not just yet! I hope to check out the digital graphic adaptation of Watchmen, The Dark Knight and Sparks.
I'm also working on a thriller set in Amsterdam. I'll post the designs of the main-characters very very soon! Stay tuned!

Might you just have a MUST SEE tip on a motion comic, let me know!