Character

In the End…It Doesn’t Have to Be All That Complicated

Assuming you were blessed from birth with perfect design sense, and have spent years honing your cartooning craft, it really doesn’t have to be as complicated as all the above examples. A simple, perfectly constructed character will suffice. Thirty or so exquisitely placed lines. Watch Chester Brown work:

Drawn and Quarterly  © Chester Brownart: Chester Brown book: Louis Riel publisher: Drawn and Quarterly © Chester Brown

Drawn and Quarterly  © Chester Brownart: Chester Brown book: Louis Riel publisher: Drawn and Quarterly © Chester Brown

Is that God complaining about Mounties? So awesome!

Now, I was less than sold on Brown’s other work, particularly The Playboy. (What? People – adolescents at that! – look at pornographic materials, in secret, and then feel sort of guilty about it? Explain. ) But here Brown’s cartooning mastery cannot be ignored. These character designs combine The Yellow Submarine with the monumentality of Diego Rivera’s mural figures. The latter is perhaps not as left field as it seems: Louis Riel was a real-life revolutionary, so the larger-than-life quality of Rivera’s Communist Manifestos is fitting. Put this comic at the top of your read pile and you’ll find yourself wondering why all your superheroes seem so wussy and frail. Viva la Revolution! Rethink what you know!

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