THE WEB JOURNAL OF JOHN RAY

Artist of Two Worlds

Posted in Books, Comics, Manga by J.R. Bumanglag on February 10, 2009

“I have always been strongly of the opinion that the writer and artist should be in one person. Failing that, and in the absence of any prior agreement between artist and writer, then I come down in favor of the dominance of the artist. This is not to free him from the obligation to work in service of the story originated by the writer. Rather, I expect him to shoulder this burden with the understanding that the so called ‘freedom’ will come a greater challenge – that of employing or devising a wider range of visual devices and composition innovation. He should contribute to the ‘writing.’”

– Will Eisner, Comics and Sequential Art

I’m definitely on the same wave as Will Eisner on this notion. I have grown to admire artists that are able to write and illustrate at the same time. The ability to draw is already much a burden to some, but writing the story that goes with the illustration is an entirely new world on their shoulders. It is in this idea that I true believe in the ambidextrous ability, in balancing out the weight of justice given to the crime of killing two birds with one stone.

If I were to deconstruct this belief, I think the artist is able to write because he is a visual master. He paints a picture in his mind, trying to see the overall story. The characters, objects, scenes and places may jumble restlessly in his mind. Through insistent molding, he lays out everything, hoping all of them can fall unto the right places, at the right time. As he truly sees the painting from beginning to end, he simply translates it into words, adds illustrations (albeit again) and the rest is history.

I’m simply astounded reading a line which says ‘Story and Art by …’ or ‘Katha’t Guhit ni …’ It is a simple connotation of how personal the comic book is to her creator and vice versa.

***

El Indio

Francisco Coching

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Elmer

Story and Art by Gerry Alanguilan

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Akira

Story and Art by Katsuhiro Otomo

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Vagabond

Story and Art by Takehiko Inoue

***

Indeed, how many of us can look left and right at the same time?

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