Along the same lines as last week's post about Norm Breyfogle, I thought we could do one looking at some of Bill Sienkiewicz' work from Rocketeer Adventures. So here's a page.
It's strange, because normally I don't think I'd like artwork that was so scratchy looking, but the way Sienkiewicz' art seems to work, there's enough obvious detail I can follow the action, but if I slow down a little more, I pickup new things every time I look at it. Like in the last panel, the flame and "sss" lead to the Ducketeer crash landing and his face, but then I notice the legs bent backward and the way he's laying on one arm.
Anyway, I love how the sound effects really direct the action in the lower two-thirds of the page. The "FFFOOOOOM" leading up to the general and the dialogue balloon, where the "s" trails off through the "WOOOM" and continues down to his landing place. Plus, you have the general's reaction shots running parallel to the falling "s", and the the way the same word balloon connects to the Ducketeer in two different panels. My first thought on that was it demonstrated how he says it the same way each time, what would be the same volume or inflection if this were an actual cartoon. But it occurs to me now that it shows how long he dragged out saying "Up to the skies".
Which is kind of cool, because it makes the actual panel where he takes off stand separate from them. He's saying his catchphrase before and after it, but not during, like it's a virtual split second where he wasn't making a sound during the whole takeoff/explosion sequence.
We need to talk about the colors as well, I imagine. That first panel, where the Ducketeer is surrounded by bright oranges, while the General is surrounded by a sort of grey, dull blue almost. They're both primarily in outline (the Ducketeer is just detailed enough you can make out an eyehole in his helmet), but one is brightly backlit, the other shrouded in shadow. Well, given the Ducketeer is Daffy Duck, who was always an attention hog, it makes sense, but it persists throughout the remainder of the page. The takeoff and explosion are both in bright oranges and reds, the General's reaction panels in the sort of dull blue again. A soft, understated color, hemmed in by all of the Ducketeer's bombast, as all the General can do is watch this idiot. I do find it interesting that the red/orange persists through most of the final panel, but the ground itself, at the very bottom, shifts more towards the General's color scheme. The Ducketeer's bold move fizzled out, and he's been literally brought back to Earth with the rest of us.