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Perspective in Storytelling 26

I’ve got some more examples of curvilinear perspective for you!

First, we have a Madame Xanadu spread—Xanadu’s sister surprises her with an attack! And we as the audience weren’t prepared at all, which is why we have to “turn our heads” in order to follow the action.  It also helps lead to the next panel, which is always the big challenge with double-page spreads.

Next, we have a Rocket Girl panel.  The curvilinear perspective is really subtle here, to the point that the reader might not be conscious of it, but I think it’s still effective.  It has the effect of making the panel last longer, as if she’s been there a while.  It’s the opening of the scene, and the slightly curved lines lead us into that scene.

Third is some Little Nemo goodness by Windsor McKay (thanks to Kaluta for the find!).  He’s in a hot-air balloon, viewing the stockyards in Chicago.  This type of perspective is GREAT if you want to draw a cool, expansive view.  Nemo can see in every direction, and what better way to show that than curvilinear perspective?  It has the added bonus of making the reader feel extra queasy.

The last image: probably the best use I’ve seen in comics is this panel from Joe the Barbarian, drawn by Sean Gordon Murphy.  It’s an interior of a school bus, only now it feels longer and empty—Joe is totally isolated in the back of the bus by being literally on a different plane.  If you ever want good inspiration on perspective, rendering, or anything awesomely drawn, for that matter, he’s a great guy to follow.  Not that you aren’t following him already!

What I think is great about ALL of these, is they all convey different moods.  That said, anything can be done too much.  If your panels constantly use fisheye or panoramas, you will slow the story down.  Your readers will have to process your panels in order to follow them, and that takes them out of the story.  It also divides the focus of any one image.

That, and it’s difficult to use.  I would think it’s best to get the hang of other perspectives before you dive into this one, because you will have to rely on your own intuition in order to get it right.

For more perspective posts, click here.

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