Over at Make Comics Forever!!, actor/cartooner Cameron Chesney talks about one of the most unusualy aspects of Scott McCloud’s MAKING COMICS: the section on facial expressions:

One aspect of the book, which I was amazed by, but also took odds with a little bit, was the section about Facial Expressions. I have for several years in New York City spent a great deal of time training to be an actor at various schools, with various teachers. A large part of this training centers around one’s ability to analyze a script and come up with an objective or action that drives the character forward through the play or story. One strong lesson that I have come away with, that I feel is certainly imperative to good acting, is to not predict an emotional state for the character before entering into a scene. “Here the character is sadâ€?, “here the character is angryâ€?. The reality of the situation carries many complexities which make it necessary to remain open only to the objective of the character. The danger being that if one puts too much thought into the emotional state of the character beforehand, one falls into the risk of simply “indicatingâ€? emotions, instead of expressing something more truthful that follows the character’s need to pursue a strong objective and the course of actions that follow.

More in link.


  1. The link doesn’t appear to go anywhere (at least it didn’t load anything in the two browsers that I tried it with).
    I think there is a significant difference between acting and illustrating (as if that such surprise anyone).
    With acting (at least in terms of theatre … it is different in film), you have the opportunity to constantly evolve. Even in film, you can do multiple takes.
    When illustrating, you have one shot. You do the image. Now, it can be, certainly in comics, where someone might come back and request a change to it. And so you get a do-over. Depending on how much lead-time there is, one might have multiple opportunities to re-do an image to ‘get it right’. But eventually, the image is done and that is it.
    With theatre, one can continue to experiment with a moment until they ge the desired effect. Even with film, it can be done over and over until the director gets the desired effect (because the return in that case is immediate). When you’re dealing with art … the turnaround time is much different. An editor may not always get the desired optimal effect. Somtimes an editor might have to settle for something a little less than they were expecting in order to make a deadline.
    So in essence, I think it is really difficult to try and compare the results of acting to illustrating.

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