Direction, Time, and Motion in WE3

            I noticed that the three main characters 1, 2, and 3 are almost always moving from left to right, often on rectangular panels. I think the panels were designed to signify how fast the animals are always moving. Also, it is important to note the panels show that 1, 2, and 3 are almost always moving forward. There is a two-page spread where the cat is tearing apart a group of soldiers. The panels are broken up into eight rectangular panels that are vertical. Together they form a large horizontal rectangle, and the cat is literally jumping into and out of each panel, killing each soldier, from left to right.

            In addition to the panels, there are two sections (full-page bleeds, each one is actually compromised of two pages), where the three main characters are illustrated as moving from left to right. In one two page spread, the dog, the cat, and the rabbit are shown at a sideways angle. The section shows the animals seemingly fly through the starry night. I think the page captures their freedom to move past their initial imprisonment and enter the open road. In another section, the main characters are also moving from left to right, but the angle is more shifted to give readers a more 3D feeling. Also in the upper left hand corner, you can see the helicopters firing at the animals. So, this page really gives you the sense that 1, 2, and 3 are being chased.

            I also want to point out how the artist often makes the background setting kind of blurry. This effect definitely made me feel like the animals were going really fast. For example on the two-page full-page bleed where the animals are running away from the helicopters, the bunnies that are being mauled to death become blurry as 1, 2, and 3 race through them. Also, the trees are blurry on the second half of that section as the animals pass. The blurry background gives you a sense as to how fast they are going.

2 thoughts on “Direction, Time, and Motion in WE3”

  1. Great reading of the subtle (and not-so-subtle) ways that Frank Quitely’s artwork is complementing—and heightening—the top level narrative of We3. The left-to-right movement is something I hadn’t picked up on, even though I’ve repeatedly talked about how important such movement is in class!

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