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<   No. 1090   2006-01-20   >

Some other clever statement.

1 [caption]: {title} a soft-focus world
1 {scene: The art is a photograph split across three panels like a triptych; the photo is a fuzzy, blurry, shot of what looks like a wedding reception, or a party, or maybe some random people standing in a streetscape. Who knows?}
1 [caption]: It's times like this
2 [caption]: when I stop to look at the world
3 [caption]: that I wish my camera would take decent photos.

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A Softer World is a comic by Emily Horne and Joey Comeau. It has a fixed format consisting of three panels displaying photographic art, taken by Horne. The panels show either different images, differing crops and zooms of the same image, or one photo spread across all three of the frames like a triptych - rather like the strip above. The text, written by Comeau, is made of apparently typewritten captions pasted on to the photos, which present a first person narrative related to the images.

The overall effect is of something designed to be "artsy" and "angsty", but with an incongruous twist in the last panel providing the humour.

The intriguing thing is that the overall effect is very artistic. The comic plays on the pretentiousness of trying to be "artistic" by being angsty and using overaturated soft-focus or grainy black and white photography, perverting it to provide a laugh, while at the same time producing a comic that actually is beautiful to look at and genuinely thought-provoking.

A Softer World effectively sends itself up with every strip, yet retains a seriousness that many other comics strive for and fail to achieve. What better way to pay tribute to a comic that sends itself up than by imitation?


2015-04-23 Rerun commentary: The photo is one I took myself at my cousin's wedding, with a very early compact digital camera. It couldn't handle the low light and gave me several very blurry pictures at the reception. Here's the best one I took that night. Even though blurred by motion and noisy, it has a certain ethereal quality which I find attractive:

Ethereal

Even though my camera performed lousy that night, I managed to capture some of the feeling of the happy day. "Don't shoot what it looks like. Shoot what it feels like."

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