Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Akira and Sin City

I've been reading the Sin City books recently. Some are a second or third reading, some I'm reading for the first time. It's been an interesting summer where I've been getting into a lot of noir fiction. And, it's quite interesting to see a lot of recurring themes and scenes then to see them all amped up to roid-rage levels in Sin City. I'll have more thoughts when I'm done the whole thing.

But to make up for both Promethea and Tom Strong ending an issue early because of the Ottawa Library's collection, as well as my attempt to read Ultimate Spider-man in trades being thwarted by the library's only copy of volume 6 (the Venom story) being in repair since sometime last winter I've decided to take on Akira. I've only ever read one of the books and it was more to steal an idea for perspective in an art class during my undergrad. I know it was cheap but I was really busy that week.

Anyway, what strikes me the most when reading Akira is how a book whose artwork is so technically proficient is also exceptionally inviting and interesting. It isn't just an exercise in perspective and straight lines, although on some levels it really is. The way every environment is so precisely created is simply awe inspiring. But what makes it work is that for every pristine line there is an equally grimy aspect rubbed into the scene to make it look lived in by humans. Much like Blade Runner had these technical marvels the characters were also in the middle of a grimy city. Same goes here. It has the clean lines and straight edges of futurism tempered by the waste products of people.

I've never read the comics before but I've seen the movie a few times. I'm liking the extended story and the more intricate plotting but I also think the movie sythesized things a bit better and made things slightly more coherent in its forced brevity. But hey, more of a good thing so no complaints really.

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