Ruminations on architecture, from Ken Allinson
Tag Archives: Dave McKean
March 16, 2012Posted by on
… of Jean Henri Gaston Giraud (8 May 1938 – 10 March 2012). Very sad.
… Who joins another great continental artist, the Venetian artist Dino Battaglia ((1 August 1923 – 4 October 1983).
Yes, there are lots more to add to such a pair. My favourites include Edward Gorey (February 22, 1925 – April 15, 2000) and Georges Remi (or Hergé, 1907–1983) and Howard Chaykin (b.1950) and Katsuhiro Otomo (b.1954) and Dave McKean and Quentin Blake (b.1932) and … the list could get rather long.
But what is it about the neglect of illustration and comic art – especially the latter’s inherent theatricality and page by page architectonics – as if these were disqualified from being ‘art’? What makes the theatre so much more (intrinsically) architectonic than films can ever be, and yet architects get excited about the latter and not the former? OK, perhaps that is easy to answer: the cinema costs a fraction of the average theatre production (certainly in London, but not always). But there is much more to it than that. It is the dynamics of theatre as well as the set design which, together, as a whole, make it so appealing. And, oddly, this comes through even when a play is turned into a film. For example, my lifetime favourite movie has been Robert Aldrich’s version of the Clifford Odets play, The Big Knife (1955). I haven’t even seen a real theatre production of it, and yet this film has been watched by me over and over again.
And what such marvellous mixes of animation and film such as Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away and Howl’s Moving Castle, Pixar’s WALL-E, Up, Ratatouille, and The Illusionist?
Form and content and the manner in which these insinuate their way into one’s thought, and the way one insinuates oneself into such works … There’s even a small village in the French part of Switzerland called Champeray that even uses comic strip art to illustrate boards, dotted around the village, that tells visitors about the place’s history. I find them remarkably effective, but then I would, wouldn’t I …? I think we’re back to narrative!