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Panel By Panel: The Squirrel Machine and Texture

hpkomic at 9:15AM, Sept. 9, 2022

Hello everyone, and welcome to Panel by Panel, a periodic exploration of comic panels around The Duck. This week, I was inspired by the latest update of the comic The Squirrel Machine by user hansrickheit. The comic is fantastic, but I want to zoom in on one panel. This is on page 25.

I should also note that some imagery in the comic, such as nudity, is not necessarily recommended for a general audience.

The first thing we notice on this panel is a lot of ink. There is a lot of hatching, blacking, and line work on this page. Yet, I don't think it is overwhelming. Rather, this comic is full of texture. ‘Texture’ is one of those weird things to quantify in comics because unless you are talking about touch on a physical page, what could texture mean? In the case of this panel, we are looking at the idea of Visual Texture as mentioned in “Texture in Art – Exploring the Use of Texture in Painting and Art”. This type of texture is the illusion of texture.

How does the ground give a sense of depth on the page? How do you know the skin of the pigs is probably a bit rough? It comes from the usage of hatching and lines. There is some excellent control being applied within this panel regarding hatching. The difference in hatching between the characters and backgrounds is obvious, and in a sense, the characters are less visually heavy and lift off the page to a degree. Meanwhile, the trees set further in the distance are more heavily hatched, making them sink. The same principle also applies to the ground, as the foreground is hatched a little lighter than the background (except for shadows).

I could also talk about the excellent composition or how elements are arranged to lead the eye, but I just wanted to explore the panel's texture. There is so much of this throughout the comic, and it's excellent. Be sure to check out ,url=]The Squirrel Machine if you would care to see more.

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Ozoneocean at 7:10AM, Sept. 10, 2022

His art is amazing! It's like woodblock prints from the 1500s!

Banes at 6:40AM, Sept. 10, 2022

Awesome! Love Hans Rickheit's art and the wild worlds he creates.

PaulEberhardt at 2:54AM, Sept. 10, 2022

This is a top-notch example of how to use hatching and lines to great effect. Hans Rickheit's love for detail in his artwork always makes every page an eye-catcher and adds to the generally uncanny creepiness that pervades his work. The comics are sometimes a little too disturbing for my personal tastes, but I keep revisiting them anyway just because he's such a great artist.

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