Last weekend, the kids watched Farenheit 451 as part of our Summer Film Fest. The one thing they were really drawn to this time [they’d seen it before] were the wordless comics or newspapers that Montag reads in bed while his wife is watching t.v. and that others read on the suspended monorails.
These are, essentially, the only legal reading materials in the 451 universe. And, from the little we see of them [we paused the film to have a better look] they’re quite stunning. The panels, which are long and rectangular, are quite different from standard sized comic book panels, but not unlike the wallscreen televisions in Montag’s home. And, the comics themselves appear to represent or “predict” a few of the things that happen in the film and the novel on which it is based, particularly the searching of homes for contraband [as Montag does in his work as a Fireman of books] followed by some sort of public trial or prosecution.
We’ve been looking around trying to find out who actually drew the comics in the film. And we’re still not sure. There are many candidates, from Yvonne Blake, the costumer, who also did work on Superman films, to Syd Cain, the art director, who was a cartoonist in his own right, to Nicolas Roeg, the director of photography and known comic enthusiast. If you happen to know, please fill us in!
In any case, the kids were inspired by this wordless means of telling stories. So, over the weekend, Blaise and the kids tried their hands at creating some wordless comics of their own:
These three panels were inspired not only by the movie but also by Frans Masreel, Steve McCabe’s wordless poem, Never More Together, from Porcupine’s Quill, and Connery, Jacobs, Laliberte, and Shrestha’s 4Panel 1. We picked up the latter two at the most recent Toronto Comic Arts Festival.
Don’t you want to make some wordless comics, too? Well, here, you go!
Kids’ Wordless Comics DIY
Black Pens or Markers [Permanent if Using Watercolours]
Coloured Pens, Markers, Oil Pastels, or Watercolours
First, come up with ideas for a wordless story, either based on a scene from Farenheit 451 or from your own imagination.
Make a preliminary rough sketch to spell this out.
On a nice piece of paper, use a ruler and a pencil to sketch out long rectangular panels in which to place your stories.
Sketch in your wordless comics.
Ink your panels in outline.
Colour them in as you see fit.