Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Lio and Mutts

The Sunday comic strips have more real estate than then dailies. And artists like Mark Tatulli of Lio take full advantage of it. Tatulli's played with the concept of comic strip borders before. This sequence from May 22, 2016 shows what Tatulli can do given space:

Tatulli does a great job capturing the style of Patrick McDonnell for the Mutts panels. Note that the clumsy robot not only crashed through the various panels on his journey tracking right, but he also seems to have kicked his foot and destroyed the Mutts title panel at the far left. The robot's drawn with his rear leg doing just such a kick, to subtly plant that idea in the reader's head (should they be reading this strip as carefully as I am).

Also, note the use of color. At each break in the panel borders, there's no color at all. It's an effective way to draw the eye to the breaks, helping us track the progress of the robot. And it may have another purpose, too. No matter what colors are in the comic strip panels, the gutters (the space between two panels) is always white. Is Tatulli suggesting that if the borders are broken, the white contained in the gutters leaks into the panels?

I like to think so.

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