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Do Kiki and Bouba Have a Say in Your Comics?

Tantz_Aerine at 12:00AM, Oct. 15, 2016

Hello, hello! As of today, I am in charge of the Saturday newspost- and you have Ozoneocean to thank (or blame) for that! If you want to get to know me better, I am a regular in the Quackcast where you can hear me be a Greek Person, and you can check out my comic Without Moonlight and/or my collab with Pit Pace Brave Resistance anytime! (but after you read my first attempt at a newspost.)


The other day I came across a very well presented vid in youtube on how cinematographers use geometrical shapes to give subtle (or not so subtle) meaning to their character design, angles and general directing.

All of what was said about animation, definitely applies to comics as well:

In particular, Kiki shapes (shapes that are very angular, made up of triangles) are associated with evil characters (or at least more unstable, grimmer, more dangerous ones). Bouba shapes (shapes that are curvy, made up of circles) are associated with cuteness, lightness and kindness in characters.

Even more interesting is the use of the three basic geometric shapes in character design in animation, where creators employ the Circle, Square and Triangle to convey the feel the audience should have of the character they see on screen (or in our case, on the page):
Circle –> Good, kind, loveable
Triangle –> Evil, dangerous, dark
Square –> Trustworthy, stubborn, sturdy, firm or even boring

Also, the compositions within a frame create similar impressions:

A frame within a frame: the character is trapped in his situation

Parallel lines over the frame: the character is held prisoner by his/her circumstances

Two frames in a frame: the characters are distanced from each other, or in a fragmented relationship.

Round frame within the panel: the situation or characters are being surveilled, spied upon, watched, unsafe

Triangle compositions: power struggle and power arrangements within or between characters
And so on and so forth.

So, do you use Geometry in your comics? If you do, have you been doing it consciously? If you aren’t, will you consider that now?

For more info on News, please check out this DD Help Site article:



bravo1102 at 11:27PM, Oct. 17, 2016

Mise en scene. I've been doing it all along as if it matters or makes a difference. Technique is nice but it doesn't get a comic readers, or hits or anything.

Tantz_Aerine at 10:58AM, Oct. 16, 2016

I'm glad you enjoyed this guys! :D As for me, I can't say I use it systematically or consciously except for one instance in WM where, when I was deciding on its general style and look, I wanted it to look like a storybook in terms of art, and employed mostly curvy linework, just so that the horrors therein would come at a stark dissonance so that I wouldn't need to be too gory or too graphic and still have the same effect. That's the only conscious use of it I can claim.

Genejoke at 2:10AM, Oct. 16, 2016

Like others have said, I don't do any of it consciously, but from various influences I think it has cropped up here and there in my work.

cru at 6:48PM, Oct. 15, 2016

I'll definitely be thinking about this the next time I compose scenes.

ashtree house at 3:10PM, Oct. 15, 2016

Interesting, I should read up on this stuff!

Banes at 1:51PM, Oct. 15, 2016

Awesome post! I like that circle/square/triangle thing for character design and I've used it. The panel/page construction is fascinating and worth some study for sure!

KimLuster at 7:09AM, Oct. 15, 2016

Interesting stuff... I certainly don't consciously use it... !!

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