jueves, 14 de junio de 2012



Después de dos años celebrándose en la Metropolitan Manchester University, el International Comics Conference se muda a Bournemouth (¿quizás por tener la mejor playa del Reino Unido?). Este congreso, que ya se ha convertido en un referente de la investigación sobre cómic, se celebrará el 28 y 29 de junio. Cada uno de los días tendrá un tema diferente. El primero estará dedicado al cómic y la educación y el segundo a las adaptaciones. 

Un servidor presentará allí un paper firmado junto con Carlo Gallucci y Josep Rom y titulado The uncanny adventures of Tintin y que dice lo siguiente:

The uncanny adventures of Tintin 
As Filippo Baldinucci wrote in 1681, a caricature is a mock portrait. The whole portrait attempts to be as similar as possible to the portrayed person, but some parts (the ones we want to laugh about) are highlighted by enlarging them. This definition remains highly accepted when the caricature itself is the ultimate purpose. Although, when we study caricature as a semantic tool of comics, revising Baldinucci’s ideas is needed. 
First of all, in comics we don’t need a real person as a reference. We can caricature anything that can be represented. Caricature remains referential but, as Töpffer said, the object doesn’t have to belong to the real world. It could be just a conventional symbolism. Also, we can use it for several expressive aims so we don’t highlight the ugliest parts but the more significant ones. 
Caricature is based in two parallel formal processes: simplification and deformation. Both of them are not just stylistic but discursive processes. Simplification consists in removing the unnecessary elements of the drawing at the discretion of the artist.
The second process is deformation. It consists in exaggerating the significant elements of the representation. Both processes complement each other but are independent. Analyzing their usage we can get a pretty close description of the aesthetic register of a comic work. 
Hergé drew in a very simplified style with a medium-low degree of deformation in characters, but almost non-existent in backgrounds and objects. In order to ease the visual reading for children and pre-teens, Hergé tried to not overload his panels with non-significant details such as variations of color based on light. 
Whilst simplification would make Hergé’s style highly iconic, the careful and rigorous approach by his collaborators in finding and reproducing real references for the objects and backgrounds, make Tintin a realistic comic book, or, at least, a book that illustrates the real world of its time. Its ilustrations are perceived and decoded by the young readers as real. 
The Adventures of Tintin keeps a high level of deformation in its characters, very similar to the level used by Hergé himself, but discards any of his attempts at simplification. The desired effect is to show how the characters from a Tintin book would look in the real world, almost like in “untooned” art. Even with the visual realism intended, which is achieved with magnificent textural work, hyper realistic backgrounds and the usage of motion capture to give movement to the characters; Spielberg’s film doesn’t achieve the same effect as the comics. 
The achieved effect may not be realistic enough to bridge the Uncanny Valley. This hypothesis by Masahiro Mori says that “when human replicas look and act almost, but not perfectly, like actual human beings, it causes a response of revulsion among human observers”. Even if they look objectively more real, the hyper realistic renderings of these characters may be perceived as grotesque deformations. That’s  probably because, in Spielberg’s movie, the characters are not understood as de-simplification of Hergé’s characters but deformations of real persons, especially by the american audience who are not as familiar as the europen audience with these character’s morphology. This would be an effect that negatively affects the audience’s experience but this film achieves the best motion capture animation to date: sometimes we may feel uneasy by the characters, but they are not at the bottom of the uncanny valley and they work well enough so that in some parts, especially the action scenes,  the audience is able to become involved in the thrilling adventure.

Carlo Gallucci Vallcorba
Daniel Gómez Salamanca
Josep Rom Rodríguez

Para consultar el programa y obtener más información se puede consultar la siguiente página web: http://comics.bujournalism.info/