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    Member of the Week: Shawn Feeney



    As told to Comic Foundry…
    I consider myself to be primarily an intermedia artist, creating work that falls conceptually between established art forms. I use comics in conjunction with other media, but I also think of comics as a kind of intermedium; even though the art form does have a fairly lengthy history, comics still seem to sit somewhere between art and trash in the American cultural imagination. It’s something between drawing and writing, between looking and reading. I’m interested in the gaps between and the fusions of these activities. Who sleeps in the gutters between the panels? What happens to a word balloon when it’s filled with helium? Could a comic also function as a musical score?

    I’ve always been fascinated with black and white art created with pen and ink. It’s so far removed from that which it represents – no color, no depth – yet it can look so convincing and real. To develop my pen and ink style, I studied Dürer, Moebius, Bernie Wrightson, Jim Woodring, and the excellent book, “Rendering in Pen and Ink.” I’m currently most interested in artists such as Chris Ware who are really pushing the boundaries of the medium.

    I’ve been interested in creating “sonic comics” for a few years now: comics that have soundtracks. These are somewhat inspired by old children’s books I had as a kid that came with records – when you heard the bell, that was the signal to turn the page. In my pieces, instead of turning the page, you look at the next panel. I originally created some on paper and have since made Flash versions (an example, The Family Tree, is available on my website: Adding sound to comics gives each panel a defined length of time the reader can spend on each panel, and so rhythm and counterpoint become elements you can work with very directly.

    I think experimenting with sound, motion and interactivity will lead to more successful developments with web comics. A lot of web comics, like works in many new technologies that simply mimic older ones, don’t seem very compelling to me. I’ve always loved the subversive underbelly of comics, and I enjoy watching (and helping) it mutate and evolve.

    Want to be the Member of the Week? Better your chances by uploading to your portfolio…

    Posted by Tim Leong on May 4th, 2005 filed in Story Archive |

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