Noir meets reality

Posts tagged “Comics

Watchmen: Tales of the Black Freighter (Ben James)

Hey all. This is a quick analysis on the transition of the Tales of The Black Freighter comic that features in the Watchmen graphic novel to the big screen version and how they fit it in with the main feature.



[ A segment from the film’s animated counterpart, Tales of The Black Freighter.]


 When looking at the transition from the comic within the comic to the animated piece, it seems to be an easier transition than it would be for the rest of the book with having animated it. Despite that I’m not quite sure what to make of the animation, as I quite liked the animation style of it but it didn’t bring that discomfort I felt when reading the comic version, which to me felt intentional.

I think the clever thing about having made The Tales of the Black Freighter is that when they made the director’s cut of the film, they managed to fit the segments of the animated film into the main film itself to match the graphic novel. I think that this was a rather interesting move and it was actually an interesting take on filmmaking. This is something that we wanted to do as a team in Johnny Noir, though instead of an animated piece we used comics to illustrate the event of Charles death.


Graphic storytelling and visual narrative-By Will Eisner Research report ( Philip Hampson)

“All stories have a structure. A story has a beginning, and end, and a thread of events laid upon a framework that holds it together. Whether the medium is text, film or comics, the skeleton is the same. The style and manner of its telling may be influenced by the medium but the story itself abides.


The structure of a story can be diagramed with many variations, because it is subject to different patterns between its beginning and end. A structure is useful as a guide to maintaining control of the telling”

{The structure of my story starts after the end, returns the beginning and then works its way back to after the end, where the audience is then told what happens next. This quote states that stories must have a structure, but there is no right or wrong way to structure your story, just that having one will help to guide you in how to tell your story.} (Pg 9 What is a story)


“Readers and viewers identify content with its package. Comic’s readers expect printed comics to come in a familiar package. A story told in an unconventional format may be perceived differently. The format has an important influence in graphic storytelling”.

{This states that how you physically format you story will change the readers/ viewer’s experience of it. I agree with this after reading the Graphic novel 300, I found that its structure of being horizontally laid out, as opposed to the more common vertical format, changed the pace and mood of the story and imagery. It changed my perspective of the story, I cant really explain why, as it is still very dark and graphic, like any Vertically laid graphic novel book. I think it may be because children’s picture books are laid out horizontally as well, which gives the book a childish and safe feel. This makes you believe the book will be less graphic and dark toned. This may be why the writer formatted it this way, so to bring the readers guard down. I laid out my Eddie Jones comic in the more common vertical format, but this has given me ideas for other stories.} (Pg 14 Telling a story)


“In film, there is plenty of time to develop a character within an occupation. In comics, there is little time or space. The image or caricature must settle the matter instantly.”

{This states that the imagery of a character can instantly give the reader/viewer an idea of the characteristics of the character. For example a thief will look dark, hide his face, may cover his eyes and generally have a closed body language. In film you have time to create a character in ways that don’t involve their appearance. But in comics you need to establish a character faster. For example in Eddie Jones I wanted Eddie to have a distinctive scar on his face, and to generally look tough aggressive. This would instantly give the audience the idea that he is a anti-hero.} (Pg 18 Images as narrative tools.)



Figure 1 characteristics of items.


“There are some objects which have instant significance in graphic storytelling. When they are employed as modifying adjectives or adverbs, they provide the storyteller with an economical narrative device”

Figure 1 shows how depending on how an item or weapon is drawn can change the perception of them. Where the viewer will depict an item or character as good or evil depends on how they are drawn, the shape, style, and colour can complete change the readers perspective. For example in Eddie Jones A Tommy gun and revolver were the weapons used by Eddie and Casey respectively. This could be viewed as Casey being a good guy in some ways. However one of the reasons I chose that weapon for him is that it has positive traits, this would give the viewer a slight idea of good in Casey, where as actually this in place to throw the reader off. ( Pg 21 Images as narrative tools)


Graphic storytelling and visual narrative-By Will Eisner

Published 1996- referenced printing 2006

Poorhouse press