Character

Profile of a Profile

Again, as long as you’re a mature enough artist to have some real cartooning chops, simplicity can be best in character design. It just takes one distinctive feature for recognition: Bart Simpson’s zigzag hair, Charlie Brown’s zigzag shirt (and hydrocephalic skull), or this:

Dark Horse Comics  © Frank Millerart: Frank Miller book: Sin City publisher: Dark Horse Comics © Frank Miller

That beautiful uninterrupted curve from hairline to nose defines Marv no matter how much ink Frank has left on his brush with intent to use. It is such an informed choice for a comic that thrives in the darkness of chiaroscuro. It allows for moments like this:

Dark Horse Comics  © Frank Millerart: Frank Miller book: Sin City publisher: Dark Horse Comics © Frank Miller

Even when he’s running through the woods at night, reader recognition is not an issue. Unless, of course, he were not shot from the side. I’m not even sure Frank knows what Marv looks like head-on.

Dark Horse Comics  © Frank Millerart: Frank Miller book: Sin City publisher: Dark Horse Comics © Frank Miller

By the way, I write these posts backwards so one can just start at the top in a category and scroll down through the entire lesson. My fiancee keeps telling me WordPress must have another way to sort these things, but I’ll be darned if I can find it. The point being, when this category is done, this will be the second time I have ended an argument with Frank Miller. It occurs to me that those could be words to live by. One could do worse than always ending an argument with Frank Miller…

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