Thursday, 12 April 2012

A Funny Animal In A World Of Humans

Prepare To Breathe Your Last, Duck! (BEM #34, July 1981)
Art by Dave Sim
(from an interview in UK fanzine Arkensword #19, 1986)
...the essence of it is that a funny animal in a world of humans to me was what was central to Howard's popularity. Because there's very few things that you can do in comics that you can't do better elsewhere. You can do more in-depth character analysis of how somebody's thinking in a novel. You can do more realistic things, or literal, this is what's going on now in 1985 things in film. But in comic books you can do super-heroes better than they can do it in film or novels or radio or animation. It's at its most appropriate in the comics form. There are very few things you can say that about. Westerns aren't like that, science fiction isn't like that. Funny animals and humans inter-relating can be done better in comics than elsewhere.

...when Cerebus and Jaka are looking at each other you really believe that they both exist in the same space and time, they're both rendered in the same weight of line, shadows on the right side, and you can believe that they're actually inter-related. You can do the Disney Song Of The South thing, with an animated character and a live action character, but you never really lose track for a minute of what is real and what is animation. There's no blurring of the distinction and consequently there's no genuine inter-reaction possible. You watch Gene Kelly and Jerry the Mouse dancing, and you appreciate both for the separate art, for somebody actually drew this mouse dancing, and there's Gene Kelly do his great thing, but there really isn't the indication they’re together... just the trickiness of it. You never lose track of the fact that it's a trick.

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