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Comic Book Politics

A Dave Riley original
Finally getting the proverbial faeces together.

This image above is a very gaudy and very garish experiment in texturalizing an image. I've been trying for years to add text to photographs but couldn't find an easy DIY way of it until I came upon Comic Life  combined with PhotoSketcher.

This is how I think folks: welcome to my world. It's in capitals , with thought and speak balloons floating about and with a few captions thrown in.

I am a keen aficionado of montage and collage but  digitization has ruined the precious selectivity of collecting bits of paper and merging them into the one image. 

Photoshop has ruined reality for us all. 

I used to think tram tickets could have meaning -- something  special and unique  which  reflect the urban environment. While they won't in themselves tell much of a story: but glue them to a page with a street map and a few coins ... and the artefacts speak for themselves.

In a few years such a montage becomes a display in a museum. And you get tangible meaning.

So I now seek to


...and all my Christmases have come at once.

Who needs to draw or color in when the apps do it for you? All you need is to pose a few photos and with a plot in your head start storyboarded. What better way to tell your life's story and the vagaries of political existence  than with meaningful aggregations of comic artistry such as this.

But that's the knack: story telling. Comics tells stories in the same way that novels do. Drama and pace are manipulated; reality skewed; POVs contrasted; contradictions explored; 'characters' developed.... Text and image are edited so that they comfortably merge.

I am reminded of Irwin Piscator  whose theatre productions were montages of diverse elements: film, text, sound and movement.  Bertolt Brecht's playwrighting was always governed by the Piscatorial techniques of 'Epic Theatre'  using especially text such as banners strung across the stage. Like chapter headings they were.

It was all about laying on the information. Making a point while the action -- like on a comic page -- proceeds.

I  continued with this by so often deploying text in the little videos I've shot.

And when you start exploring what's already out there...it is indeed surprizing what gets cartoonized.  Classical literature, Shakespeare, biography and autobiography  can all be found in comic book mode.

In fact anything is possible. Seek and you will surely find.

There is even a  Manga  on the life of Che Guevera as well as  other graphic  comics on his life.

So today you may not have to ink in your own images but with a few simple tweaks on the mouse you can  make your own super hero, your own Marvelperson...your own cartoonized point of view.

I never really thought that much about this option until I became addicted to the political cartoons of Mr Fish  who uses a lot of techniques besides drawing lines -- and I thought....

I thought, "There with the grace of skill could go I. But draw? Not so good at that."

But nowI say : "I could be Mr Fish's fry.  A Fish fingerling in the political sea."

I suddenly have the tools to hand. All I need is the attitude, perseverance and chutzpah to cartoonize the all around.

Anything lends itself to comicafication.

So Dave, practice and skill up.

A contemporary political comic from Canada
created by Inuit artist, Gord Hill.


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