‘Layouting’ for the plot: Charles Burns and the clear line revisited

Baetens, Jan and Frey, Hugo (2017) ‘Layouting’ for the plot: Charles Burns and the clear line revisited. Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, 8 (2). pp. 193-202. ISSN 2150-4865

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Relying on a close-reading of a page selected from Charles Burns’ X’ed out (2010), this article proposes a critical debate on the stakes of producing and reading remakes. In other words: what does it mean to rework a Clear Line aesthetic, both from the point of view of drawing and from that of storytelling? We argue that this reworking does not only reveal hidden aspects of the original model, but it also provides new feedback on the way we read it. More specifically, at the end of our original reading of Burns’ remake, we ask for the opening of a debate on the Clear Line style (in the past it has been too often reduced to the technique of stylised drawing and a smooth, transparent, storytelling). For us, the beginning of such a new debate will be the discussion of layout and nonlinear ways of storytelling that are very different from standard panel-to-panel transitions. As we discuss throughout, it is the power of these aspects that Burns’ work helps us to best think through.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Literature and Literary Theory, Visual Arts and Performing Arts, Charles Burns, clear line, Hergé, layout, narrative, sequentiality.
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR > N61 Theory. Philosophy. Aesthetics of the arts
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Departments > English and Creative Writing
Departments > History
SWORD Depositor: Debbie Bogard
Depositing User: Debbie Bogard
Date Deposited: 25 Jul 2019 14:53
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2019 14:37
URI: http://eprints.chi.ac.uk/id/eprint/2867

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