Thursday, November 12, 2009

99 Ways to Tell a Story: Exercises in Style by Matt Madden

Awhile back I attended a reading that included a slide show from comic artist Matt Madden. He was showing some pages of a book he was working on at the time that basically took Raymond Queneau's Exercises in Style and translated it into comic form—that is, taking a very short, basic, and kind of boring story, and drawing it 99 different ways. It's a bit of a primer on storytelling through comics, with, like Queneau's work, some of the versions getting a bit insane and inadvisable to actually implement seriously. Years later I found the book on a shelf at work (it seems like if I wait long enough I'll find just about anything on the shelf at work—it's great!).

Here's the basic story.




"Underground Comix"—a nice little nod to R. Crumb here.

"Exorcises in Style"—pretty amusing.

It's a great concept, and I of course can get behind the homage to Queneau, though I wouldn't call it a masterpiece. I mean, he didn't even come up with the idea first (well, except to do it in comic form). It is, however a great tool for those wanting to become comic book artists, a nice supplement to Will Eisner's Comics & Sequential Art.

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