Design Competition: D&AD New Blood Awards: Research: Animal people

Blacksad, written byJuan Díaz Canales and illustrated by Juanjo Guarnido

Anthropomorphic animals have been used in the comic book format before. A fellow student recently introduced me to Blacksad, a Spanish comic book, published primarily in France, based on the adventures of the detective in the world which takes strong inspiration from film noir. The irony of this, is that I would very much have liked to my final major project to have been film noir comic book. (Alas. It was not to be.)

Another example of Blacksad

The artwork is solid, the the watercolour style of the colouring helps create atmosphere of being of not now. I look forward to producing something somewhat like this in the future. For now, it would have to serve as an excellent example of how to represent human expressions through an animal’s face.

Maus by Art Spiegelman

Maus, by Art Spiegelman is, as far as I’m aware, the only comic book to have won a Pulitzer Prize. Spiegelman recounts his father’s time as a Jew in Germany during World War II. Most notably, all the Nazis are depicted as cats, while the Jews are represented as mice. I believe the Polish are represented as pigs. I couldn’t tell you why.  Maus serves as the ultimate example that cartoons can be used to talk about very serious things. Scott McCloud, author of understanding comics, has stated that simplified representation of people leads the reader to identify in a more personal way with those characters then when they can be identified more directly as the other.

couple of panels from Maus

Both works have an integrity that I would like to emulate in the future. It only make sense to use them as reference for my own work.

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