Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Line Art

"One set of lines to see, another set of lines to be!"-- Scott McCloud, Understanding Comics

One set of lines to see
another set of lines to be.
Before comics were in color,
cartoonists knew this secret:
nothing really spectacular
but something a little extra,

a spice. News headline: EXTRA!
Run to the harbor to see
a whaler going up in flames. Spectacle
so well rendered, it's like being
there. Imagination is the secret,
filling black-and-white with color

and stink. Smoke dims the colors
on the stricken vessel's flanks. Extra
tar and melting fat bubble from the secret
below-decks abattoir. Once you've seen
how they strip carcasses, you'll never be
content, complacent, a spectator

relaxing by oil lamp, spectacles
perched on your nose. Bicolor
bifocals! You're confused about being
reader or cartoon. Extraordinary,
how difficult it is to see.
You can't fathom a secret

laid out in black-and-white. Secretions
hiss in the blaze, throwing spectral
sparks. Watchers (readers) can see
them burn like driftwood, many-colored
fires. No! That's an extra-
special effect-- can't possibly be

true in black-and-white. It has to be
in your imagination. Your secret
will to add something extra,
make yourself part of every spectacle.
To create living sound and color
even where there is none to be seen.

It's hard to be just what you see:
everyone wants an extra secret.
Love those rose-colored spectacles.

Collection available! Knocking from Inside

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