nezchan: For food posts (le croissant)
nezchan ([personal profile] nezchan) wrote in [community profile] scans_daily2010-08-17 17:21

30 Days of Scans meme Day 2: Favorite Male Character

Not a big surprise that my favourite male character is a lanky, prematurely balding blonde with a predilection for redheads and a knack for getting himself in and out of trouble with style, if not grace.

From his somewhat questionable beginnings as a comic relief character...

He fairly quickly developed into something more than a simple foil for the series' star, Spirou. Since the title character of the spinoff series Gaston Lagaffe took over the buffoon part, Fantasio's role became more of the long-suffering straight man. But not entirely so, developing into an appealing blend of Man of Adventure and a necessary dash of irreverence and sheer goofiness, a much more fitting companion to the ready-for-action Spirou.

A couple of choice moments for your indulgence:

Fantasio encounters Japanese fixtures:

Fantasio shows the ladies some smooth moves:

(his idea of a pick-up line is "I don't live with my parents any more")

Fantasio goes through some minor changes, thanks to an invention of Champignac's:

(a man must have priorities, in the end)

Fantasio demonstrating improper usage of office furniture under the influence:

And finally, a follow up to the One Perfect Moment I posted before, where we believed that Spip had drowned during an attack of Ms. Flanners' robots:

What's not to love? Besides, he can go en pointe like a pro!

(seriously, what straight man does that reflexively, anyway?)

[personal profile] psychopathicus_rex 2010-08-18 12:25 (UTC)(link)
That seems to be a feature of a lot of European comics - 'Tintin' has it as well. The two series are very different, of course - 'Tintin' doesn't have the same cartoony nature as the 'Spirou' series; it's much more realistic in style - but there is a LOT of action in it, a lot of pratfalls and things falling and blowing up and flying all over the place and punches being thrown and whatnot, and it all feels believable as ACTION, as movement. There's a quality to the body language and so forth that communicates the fact that these characters are actually MOVING, that these rocks are actually falling, that if you could take this panel and put it in the real world and click 'play', as it were, you would suddenly see a wild blur of motion. It may simply be something inherent in the European style - you don't see it very often in American comics.

[personal profile] psychopathicus_rex 2010-08-18 21:35 (UTC)(link)
I'm not sure I agree with that. I'm not saying that this isn't a good illustration of just how one moves when pedaling a bike up a steep hill, but to my way of thinking, the true challenge when drawing movement is how to capture things moving FAST. Things moving slowly are generally speaking much easier to draw - walking, for instance; anyone can draw someone walking. Speed things up, though - have the person striding back and forth, waving his hands, running around, bouncing off the walls - and things immediately become much more complicated to draw. I know; I've tried. There is, as you put it earlier, a kinetic energy to quick movement that is difficult to capture properly, for the simple reason that it IS so quick, and is often over in a second or less - if you were actually watching it in real life, you'd just see a blur. It is the responsibility of the artist to slow the action down enough to draw it while still giving the impression that this WOULD be a blur of motion in real life, and that's a fairly tricky thing to do. For this reason, I don't find the above all that impressive in terms of capturing movement. It's an impressively accurate portrayal of a guy riding a bike uphill, certainly, and of the physical effort involved, but of motion? Not so much.

[personal profile] psychopathicus_rex 2010-08-19 01:32 (UTC)(link)
Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying anyone can draw walking WELL, or realistically. Any physical movement is a fairly complex thing - just raising your hand and twiddling your fingers involves any number of small motions - and obviously something like walking, which involves the whole body, is going to be tricky to capture properly if you're aiming for a sense of realism. Trust me, I'm not denigrating your efforts - I understand that this stuff is difficult - I just meant that the basics of walking are fairly easy to capture if you're going for a very simple representation of them. For instance, I can sketch a stick figure walking along, and show it to someone else, and most people will guess that the stick figure is supposed to be walking - this doesn't mean that I could easily reproduce the effect in a more realistic drawing. That takes skill and practice.
If you're talking about convincingly portraying EFFORT, then yes, I agree with you, but physical effort and movement are not necessarily the same thing. There are statues of athletes and so forth that portray physical effort very convincingly, but obviously they're not moving, and there are no action lines or whatnot to help give the impression of movement - one is meant to infer. Often the greatest physical effort involves barely any motion at all - I can think of occasions when I've had to push a heavily laden wheelbarrow up a hill, and I've had to strain every muscle in my body to get it to the top, but for long moments, I wasn't really moving - I was fighting TO move, hence the effort. Someone pedaling a bicycle up a steep slope has a similar problem. Obviously, there are more motions involved in doing that than in pushing a wheelbarrow, but the basics are the same - it's the EFFORT portrayed that counts, the straining of the muscles, the sweating of the brow, that makes it convincing, to me, at least.
Really, though, this is a matter of opinion to some degree - everybody has different priorities when it comes to art. I remember some hotshot artist - I think it was Jim Lee or someone - who came up with a character design for a video game and had to draw a turnaround of it, only to discover, to his surprise, that his art style did not actually translate into three dimensions. He'd been a pro artist for years and never realized this - he did good art, it just wasn't three-dimensional art, and he had to adjust his style to do the turnaround properly.