Thursday, June 4, 2009


(From Gray's Little Orphan Annie. Click to enlarge.) The first panel anticipates the next two. The detailed cityscape has been lettered over. Underneath in the white space we see Annie and Sandy taking stock of the town -- its "nice business section," its "clean streets" -- before declaring that "there's nothin' here that we want." The second panel's style is scoffed at: its stillness, its vanishing point, its realism. Annie and Sandy, like the cartoon letters in the first panel, prevent the city's clear emergence by heading between the vantage points to somewhere less specific and nearly blank (apart from a few contextual bricks). They "push on through and see what's on beyond," and there is no finer mission statement in comics than this. Trading fairness for blindness, business for busking, and cleanliness for spareness.

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