Points Lines and Planes: Emma Garcia


American Splendid By Harvey Pekar Page 2

Points, Lines, and Planes create an image and builds the image into a story. During class, I looked at the graphic novel, American Splendid: The life and Times of Harvey Pekar by Harvey Pekar. This novel was in all black and white was drawn in great detail. It told Pekar’s life story and his switch from collecting records to writing graphic novels. In every page of the comic the account for detail was incredible and led your eye to the central aspect of the frames.

I found that the central details in the images were the points because they centralized the focus to your eyes. For each of the frames, a man was the main focus along with the words coming from the speech bubble. The points marked the positions in the space and made the surrounding images capture more meaning. Harvey Pekar chose to write his graphic novel in black and white, this showed the details of points and planes, that color would have lost.

In this strip of the comic, they are set up as individual frames. By incorporating lines in the background he made them a large part of the frame, which created a connection between the man and the space he filled. These lines are visible in his jacket, hair, hands and face but increase in density in areas where it is darker creating a deeper effect. The use of lines in the frames helps you visualize the details in the room giving each frame a sense of location.  As for the plane, I think the decisions that the artist made were deliberate to create a specific design. Each decision the artist chose had a specific purpose including having the novel in black and white, which creates the impression of a surface.

A plane is described to be “a flat surface extending in height and width” in the book Graphic Design: The New Basics. I think the decisions that the artist made were deliberate in order to create a specific design. This is why the artist chose to have the novel be in black and white because it creates the impression of more depth within the frame and adds the aspect of Plane to his novel. The frame is expanded into something more through the use of Plane. Not only did the frames use plane but the text bubbles also create a sense of plane by expanding the text into something more than just a speech bubble.


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