Friday, February 27, 2009

QUINCY by Ted Shearer Part 2

Here are some more of Ted Shearer's gorgeous QUINCY comic strips.

Above: a 4 panel gag sequence with an opening establishing angle of the interior of Quincy's home, a close up of angry granny, a medium close shot of Quincy's reaction with Granny in the background, and a final panel emphasizing Quincy's expression in a medium close up. Shearer gives you a real sense of place and character.

Quincy is one of the few comic strip characters to consistently address the reader directly. In the first 3 panels, we have the set up; and three different angles, as Quincy says his prayers. And, in the final panel, we are looking straight on at Quincy, and he meets our gaze, as he shares his realization with us.

Every character is in motion. Granny is moving a pot, and even Quincy, seated at the table, looks around while he complains. I like the painterly use of the grey tone, especially on the middle panel, as it's "splashed" haphazardly on Granny and the background.

Pragmatic Quincy may want to conspicuously consume, but he understands the bottom line better than his pals.

Above: another one of those kid conversations where lofty philosophising meets grounded economic concerns.

Above: a strip from 1971. Money, or the lack of it, makes these strips seem timely right now in 2009. Here is Quincy, working part-time in a store, chatting with his white friend Nickles. I like the bits of the store that Shearer draws in the background. Note that there is rarely an inanimate object that is horizontal. The counter, the cash register; all are at a slight angle to make the picture a touch more dynamic.

Above: a deceptively simple strip. Look at that first panel. The whole set up is there. Shearer juxtaposes the rickety, home made "Soul Express" with the bikes, seen behind the glass window. The kids have to lean a little bit up just to see these objects of desire, emphasizing visually how out of reach they are. Like in the previous strip with the car, the items are shiny and new; the antithesis of the dark, jaggedy lines of the slums.

There is a lot of life in Quincy. Even when he's talking or eating, his body is usually moving.

This is the second time that I've showcase Ted Shearer. More QUINCY strips by Ted Shearer are here, along with biographical information and more links.

The cartoons reproduced here are from the softcover collection QUINCY, copyright 1970, 1971 and 1972 by King Features.

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