Comics Enriched Their Lives! #14


Sunday, September 27, 2009

“We decided that the light should be emotional rather than realistic,” says [Alain] Resnais, citing a source of inspiration in one of his beloved comic-strip illustrators, Terry and the Pirates creator Milton Caniff. “At a time when comic strips were very disparaged as an art form, I was very happy to learn that Orson Welles and Milton Caniff had a correspondence in which they said that each was influenced by the other. And Orson Welles was not an imbecile!”

Village Voice, Sept. 22, 2009

An easy one, but a good ground rule double all the same.


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4 Responses to “Comics Enriched Their Lives! #14”
  1. Andrei says:

    When I was in college, Raul Ruiz came to speak to my film class, and I got to chat with him a bit at a reception afterward. I had recently seen his "The Three Crowns of the Sailor" (which is still one of my favorite films ever), and told him it reminded me a bit of Corto Maltese. He said sure, he knew Hugo Pratt's work, but the main influence for his use of framing was, again, Caniff's "Terry and the Pirates." Then he went on to discuss at length how Caniff changes "camera angles" in the weirdest way from panel to panel, and how he often breaks the 180 degree axis rule. I must admit that later, when I went through Caniff's work looking specifically for this, I found fewer such idiosyncratic sequences than Ruiz had made there seem to be–but still, I guess that the ones he had found were very influential on him.

    Oh, and by the way, Tim–I have found even earlier examples of black panels, but haven't posted them to your other thread for fear of being, you know, pedantic… 🙂

    And congratulations!

  2. Robert Goodin says:

    For Los Angeles residents, there is a Resnais retrospective happening over the month of October at LACMA. It's a great place to see some classics and you would be supporting their floundering film program.

  3. sean r. says:

    There's a great moment in Resnais's Toute la memoire du monde where the camera tracks through the book-crammed basement of the Bibliotheque nationale and the narrator says something like, who knows what the future will look back on as the great works of today's literature? and the shot pulls in to a close-up of a stack of Dick Tracy Sundays.

    also, paragraphs six and seven, on Hitchcock and [maybe] Caniff

  4. nrh says:

    In case you all didn't check this out already, Jog pretty much nailed it (though I think the movie's a little more interesting than he does, on the average).

    Also Andrei is right, "Three Crowns for the Sailor" is a masterpiece, and a whole lot of Ruiz, particularly his "poetics of cinema" books, might have interesting applications to comics, if you squint at it the right way.

    Also, Resnais famously said that he learned to edit by looking at "Mandrake the Magician," though god knows where I found that quote originally.

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