Thursday, October 22, 2009

Filling in the Gaps

I've been swamped with reading this week, and haven't had time to get back to Arthur Conan Doyle and the Power Rangers yet, but hopefully I'll have a chance in the next few days.

In the meantime, a quick note. Once I get the Conan Doyle-Power Rangers thing out of the way, I plan to talk a bit about my thoughts on the use of "types" in fiction. Not archetypes or stereotypes, but recognizable character types. The Victorian Consulting Detective, the Grim Pulp Avenger, the Suave Cold War Superspy. That kind of thing. It's something I'm a little obsessed with, and something about which I've thought a lot.

This morning, I came across something that resonated quite a bit with my thinking about types. One of the illustration blogs I follow is that of Annie Wu, an illustrator/writer and student. She's working on a big senior thesis at the moment, and posted a little tease from it to her flickr stream last night. She describes the project as being "a series of 18x24 posters for films that don't exist." She appears to be drawing inspiration (and imagery) from things like Kevin Dart's Yuki 7 (which I've raved about before), the "Escape to the House of Mummies Part II" episode of The Venture Bros (which opened with a recap to a Part I that never existed), and the Grindhouse trailers.

It was how Wu summed up her reasons for the project that really struck me.
Basically, it's all just an excuse for me to design ridiculous characters and make up as many crazy standalone scenes as I want without consequences. The stories only live and breathe within these posters, and the viewer fills in the (massive) gaps with their own imagination.
I just want to put a metaphorical pin in that, to come back to later. "The stories only live and breathe within these posters, and the viewer fills in the (massive) gaps with their own imagination." Make a note of it for later reference.

Okay, that's it for now. I'm back to reading. You nice people go check out the art of Annie Wu, why don't you?


  1. This already sounds intriguing enough that I want to jump in, even before you've had a chance to have your say. But I will be patient. Definitely address this before the Holmes, Power Rangers thing. That doesn't capture my attention the way this tease does.

  2. Okay, okay. Maybe I'll find time tomorrow to get it done and posted.

  3. It's funny, this reminds me of something I used to do as a kid. I would see posters or covers of movies that I was too younng to watch and then write little stories that I thought the movie was about.
    I dug out that notebook recently and it was a great read. Some of the stories were better than the actual film.

    I particularly love the Drew Struzan painted posters. They seemed to be straight out of another world.
    So even now I love movies posters, especially those that can tell a story all by themselves.
    Sadly this is a dying art. Nowdays posters tend to look all the same. Extreme close-up on actors faces. Boring!