The Picture Plane

The Picture Plane

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  • by Adrienne Boone English 2 TTh 11-12:15 9/6/18
  • Hi! My name is Adrienne. Today I am going to explain to you what is possibly the most important triangle in the world of comics...
  • the Picture Plane!
  • A picture plane shows how pictorial icons in comics vary. They can be realistic, cartoon, or abstract (or somewhere in the middle!).
  • An icon is an image used to represent a person, place, thing, or idea. Picture icons are described with picture planes (go figure).
  • One example is Wonder Woman: Down to Earth (2004) drawn by Greg Rucka.
  • Some realistic characteristics of the drawing include the extreme detail of the hair and the shading of her shoulders.
  • A realistic icon is extremely detailed and impossible to misinterpret. It closely resembles real life. 
  • A cartoon icon, on the other hand, is simplistic, with specific details added for relatability. A cartoon icon may apply to a larger audience than a realistic one.
  • The widely popular Internet comic Cyanide and Happiness uses characters with simply a body and a head, making them relatable for anybody reading them.
  • Abstract icons, made of basic shapes and pictures, cannot be mistaken for real life. Their look is often unique and exaggerated. 
  • However, we are able to gain context from and interpret these icons as they are.
  • Abstract artist Picasso's Weeping Woman (1937) is made up of simple shapes, but our minds tell us that it is a woman.
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