Saturday, June 21, 2008

What Hamlet really needed:

To be... or not to - Oh you adorable little pupster!!
Right now (when I can get the doggie's tongue off my eyeball) I'm working on Hamlet's encounter with the ghost. And I'm doing all the voices in my head as I work, of course. My invaluable Shakespeare In Production book (Robert Hapgood), which gives you the play together with commentary about how various actors and directors approached each line (so footnotes usually take up three quarters of the page), describes many interesting options used by different actors. Descriptions of the ghost's voice include "deep sepulchral tones", "a graveyard voice", a "spectral wail", "slow, solemn and under", "still seared with purgatorial fires", and - my favourites: "tones [that] seemed to come from another world... without resonance" and a voice like "the wind in a chimney". I prefer a quieter, colder, more distant and imperious dead king who commands Hamlet from a height. No shrieking or wailing for my ghost.

Doing voices is a great challenge on the silent medium of the page. The faces and postures have to do a lot of the work of suggesting the tone of voice, but the shape and position of the speech bubbles and the shape of the words themselves lend a hand as well. One more reason why computerised fonts are generally disappointing in comics - they lack the expression and flexibility of hand-lettered words.

And now I've got to get back to it. Got to work out what "the wind in a chimney" looks like!


fabulous heretic said...

I wish I was that dog.

spacedlaw said...

What happened to your hand?

Nicki Greenberg said...

That's not my hand (though I can see now that it might look that way)- it's the puppy's front leg. His poor little wrist got broken when my stepson dropped him. Thankfully he is ok now. Bandages & splint have come off and he is getting some strength back in it.

Kate Marvin said...

Nicki Greenberg! Your puppy is adorable. Your parents are marvelous. Your blog is wonderful. Hope all is going well (and so happy to know that you love Slings & Arrows too!) I miss you!

Nicki Greenberg said...

Yowie! Kate Marvin! You are so lovely. Working on coming to see you... soon, I hope!