Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Don Quixote

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Yesterday I picked up a book of Gustave Dore's 190 illustrations from the classic "Don Quixote" epic. As a comic artist, its easy to only look at comics; an easy mistake that is. Any artist that doesn't draw on other types of art for inspiration and study is a fool! Much more than half of the problems I've run into in the course of telling a story, be it in a narrative page or a pinup, can be solved with a solution present in some other kind of art; classical, impressionist, contemporary or otherwise. Just not modern art (my contempt for "modern" art is a topic for another time).

Regardless, Gustav Dore was so far ahead of his contemporaries, using linework, depth of field and shading 100 years before you ever saw its like appear in mainstream comics. So much so that a few insert panels would have turned "Don Quixote" into the first graphic novel.

I have to admit, poring over these gorgeous prints renews my interest in seeing Terry Gilliams ill-fated "The Man Who Killed Don Quixote" film, reportedly starring Ewan Macregor and Robert Duvall. Its flipped back and forth in limbo for so long its hard to tell if it will ever be made, but it sure sounds fun.

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