Welcome to Barkham. Pop. 5,120. Updates every Friday.

Page 29

1st May 2020, 5:00 PM in Dog Wood
Page 29
<<First Latest>>
Average Rating: 5 (3 votes)
Rate this comic
Save my Place Load my Place

Author Notes:

Scott D. 1st May 2020, 5:00 PM
Scott D.
One thing I absolutely love about cartoon characters is how you can use every aspect of them to portray emotion. This is put to great and effective use in Studio Ghibli pictures, in which a character's mouth, hair, even their shoulders and the height they stand at, would be used to portray the intensity of their feelings. The technique goes back much further than that, of course. All the way back to the Fleischer days, when a cartoon gets scared, they might literally jump out of their skin. When they fall in love, their heart almost thumps right out of their chests. Hair and tails stand on end. Faces and fur change colour. Cartoons are very hard-pressed to hide their emotions, and when they react to something, they do it with every part of them.

In the case of our fuzzy friend here, it's about fear, shown here in every detail from his eyes, to his posture, to the progressive state of his hair. Have you ever felt terror so intensely it wanted to just spill out of you, turned your skin pale and cold, coated you with sweat, and if so, what prompted it? Did it trigger fight, flight, or shut you down entirely? What about other feelings, like love, happiness, envy, or fury?

I recall being about six or seven years old, standing at the top of the stairway in my family's house, one hand gripping the banister rail like a limpet, gazing down into the darkness below. I don't remember why I was up so late. It could have been any reason really, but I don't think that's what matters in this scenario. Standing there on the edge of the top step, with the landing light illuminating just enough for me to see the edge of it fading to black, I was paralysed in a silent staring contest with something I couldn't even confirm existed, because you never know, it might have be there. I wanted neither to show it my retreating back, nor miss it if it chose to emerge.

The contradictory sensation of that experience has stayed with me ever since then, and it's been both the source of nightmares and the accelerant for my fascination with the strange. Shadows and suggestion.
—Scott D.

TheDuck | Facebook | Twitter
image