A Love Affair

Posted by on September 8th, 2010 at 7:19 PM

This’s what happens when you spend far too many hours perusing comics. Here’s Zits for Sunday, August 29.

(If the image is too small to read—which, for most of us, it is—the recommended procedure is to click on the image and it enlarges. For some inexplicable and presumably temporary reason, when you do that here, you and the picture are merely transported to another plane, where the picture resides more-or-less alone, same size as before; but if you click on it again, there, it’ll get much larger—large enough, usually, to read. Try it: you’ll like it.)

When I saw these two panels of Jeremy’s choked and dying room, I thought the pictures looked familiar. So I pawed through my file and found this daily from several weeks ago (the probable setup for the Sunday):

Ha! Yes, it’s exactly the same picture as the first panel in the Sunday strip above. Jeremy’s mom’s facial expression has changed, but not much else. And the second Sunday panel is, perforce, a repeat of the first. Wonderful. The canned spray paint is a nicely uproarious touch.

How did I happen to have that daily strip handy? Because I’ve been clipping Zits for some weeks now, filing examples of Jim Borgman’s superior artistry—that is, his apparent delight in drawing, in sheer picture-making. Nothing else explains his frequent forays into elaborate drawings.

Here are a couple more instances:

All of which proves that Borgman loves to draw. Only someone who loves to draw sets himself tasks like those represented by these strips. No surprise: you don’t choose an occupation that requires you to draw every day, day after day, unless you love drawing. Borgman clearly does.

And that, his love of drawing, is what I want to emphasize with even the duplications that I started with. Drawing Jeremy’s room just once is an act of love; if Borgman actually drew the two subsequent renderings of the same tableau, then he’s in the grip of some sort of obsession, not love. And I don’t think he is.

One final thought: the last of our examples, in which Jeremy’s mother is depicted in a progressive sequence of lively action, is the sort of drawing that leaps off the funnies page and strikes the reader right in the eyes. This one leaps (1) because of the use of solid black (which always attracts attention) and (2) because the picture itself is unusual: it’s a long horizontal panel, and it’s full of activity by an identical character.

We’ll look in on other instances of the “attention-getting” function of comic strip art from time to time. By way of celebration.

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