April 16th, 2005

Illustmaker me

Illustration poll

I've mentioned before--many times--how much I love illustrations, and over on SQ, Corned Bee mentioned deciding to finish a story I wrote because of illustrations over in the Illustrators' Gallery at HB, and it got me to wondering about illustrations in general and how people respond to them. I know I've also been drawn into stories--more than once--because I've seen an image and thought, "Whoa, what's that about?" (I've also seen pictures so striking that I felt the need to write about them.)

Poll #475916 Illo poll

Have you ever read a story because you saw an intriguing illustration?


Which of these styles would be most likely to draw you into a story? (Examples from The Dark Tower)

Michael Whelan's, from The Gunslinger and The Dark Tower
Phil Hale's from The Drawing of the Three
Ned Dameron's from The Waste Lands
Dave McKean's from Wizard and Glass (nudity warning)
Bernie Wrightson's from Wolves of the Calla
Darrel Anderson's from Song of Susannah

(Whoa. I put in all sorts of text in the middle of the poll and it got cut. I'm putting in the DT illustrations rather than comparing fan artists just to get out of the "I like the stories so-and-so illustrates" or just the simple question of which circles we read in. All of the above are from the same series of books and have the same group of characters, and I'm interested in knowing why particular styles seem intriguing, while others leave you cold. Is there a difference in what you find intriguing as art and what would make you say, "Hey, I wonder what the story's like?" Or are your criteria the same?)
Illustmaker me

Movie stars and blockbusters

I just read an EW article on expensive perks for movie stars, given to them so that studios can compete for them and so on and so forth. This is nothing new. But my question is... does this make sense? Is there any star that's currently actually completely bankable, except in the wild imaginations of studio execs looking for a guarantee? I mean, Will Smith comes to mind, but then you have to remember Wild, Wild West. I think Drew Barrymore has hit her stride doing these romantic comedies, but do people go to them because Drew Barrymore is really cool or because the movies look funny? In other words, is a Will Smith action flick or a Drew Barrymore comedy popular because clever studio execs have bribed Mr. Smith and Ms. Barrymore to star in them, or because Mr. Smith and Ms. Barrymore have chosen star vehicles that appeal to a lot of people? If it's the latter, I congratulate them on their good sense--possibly better sense than the execs who make the movies--but the good vehicle is doing them as much good as they do it. It'll be steady income in royalties for several years as well as their initial fees, and will also be mega-exposure and lots of opportunities for speaking fees and so on.

Just glancing at an adjusted list of the top 100 movies of all time (adjusted for inflation), more of them made stars than were made by them, so the concept of trying to guarantee a blockbuster by getting a big star seems... odd to me.

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