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Art: Paolo Uccello, The Battle of San Romano
We're talking about WAR here! Trying to leave out politics, though that's really hard with war because it's basically ALL politics but on fire. So we're talking mainly about depictions of it or at least aspects of it, in art and the media. Both Tantz Aerine and myself work on war comics, Without Moonlight and Pinky TA respectively (plus Tantz also does Brave Resistance with Pitface), so we have some knowledge of the subject from a creator perspective.
There are a lot of approaches you can take from glorifying war to showing the horrible cost of it, you can show jumbled scenes and impressions or you can show purposeful actions where there's real strategy on show. Tantz depicts a the real historical events of WW2 in Greece using fictional characters (and real historical ones), while I depict totally fictional events with fictional characters.
Showing jumbled impressions and cool scenes to give you an idea of a battle being fought, as in a movie like The Return of The King, is a very poor way to do things. In that case it's an epic fantasy, so you're supposed to see the bigger picture; the movement of troops and the purpose of battles, movements and actions etc which you don't in that film. Rather it's just stylised action from a small scale and jumbled impressions from a large scale. In all the original Star Wars films we have great battle depictions because you can see exactly what the purpose of them is as well as looking cool, they don't need meaningless jumbled impressions to fool you into thinking continuity has happened while we transition to the character next scene.
Depicting war and battle in a comic is not easy, especially when you're trying to show it from a strategic perspective. You have to think about things very carefully so you can communicate the actions and the purposes behind them. It's far easier to go the jumbled impression route, which is why so many do it, but I would advise against it unless you specifically need to- i.e. the flashback scenes, or the chaotic first hand experience from a person involved in the conflict.
Depictions of war and battle don't have to make full logical sense, as long as it FEELS logical for the scene. Like the Battle for Hoth in the Empire Strikes Back - Giant war walker APCs are a silly idea but they seem to make perfect sense in the scene. The dog-fighting scenes with little space-fighters against giant space warships in Return of the Jedi are ridiculous; huge space battleships should have enough weaponry to wipe everything out of the surrounding space for thousands of kilometers in all directions and would never get closer to each other than a blip on radar, and yet when we see that movie the question never coccus to us.
Do you depict war and battle, if so how do you do it? What are your tips and tricks? And what are your fave depictions in the media and art? Can be positive or negative.
This week Gunwallace has given us a theme inspired by Elmwych - Mysterious, scene setting, classical, plotting, probing and prompting. This is a grand entrance into a cold, lofty manor house where all is not exactly as it seems… simulated strings and electronica spice.
Topics and shownotes
Future Quackcast: The cussing swearcast.
Mercury Virus - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/news/2023/may/09/featured-comic-mercury-virus/
Elmwych - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/Elmwych/ - by Ironscarf, rated M.
Special thanks to:
Gunwallace - http://www.virtuallycomics.com
Ozoneocean - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/ozoneocean
Tantz Aerine - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Tantz_Aerine/
Banes - https://www.theduckwebcomics.com/user/Banes/
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