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The art of pantomine in animation, comics

Slightly off-topic, but of interest. An article on this weekends NY Times about how chatty modern animation has become and how they’ve lost the art of pantomine. It’s an interesting read by itself, but with the announcement of a new feature called “Lio“by Mark Tatulli – which is being sold as a pantomine feature, I wonder how long it will be until the Lio feature is replete with dialog. I seem to remember that “Bound and Gagged” was billed as a dialog-less feature, but I rarely see one today.

American animation wasn’t always like this. Some of its most memorable moments have no talking: Mickey Mouse dancing with the brooms in “Fantasia”; the Seven Dwarfs weeping at Snow White’s bier; Bugs Bunny riding in as Brunhilde on a white charger in “What’s Opera, Doc?” Animation is often funnier, more dramatic and more powerful when words aren’t distracting the viewer’s attention from the stylized expressions and movements.

Feel free to leave your comments below – or pantomine them instead.

Community Comments

#1 Mark T
March/21/2006
@ 4:17 am

I created LIO because I like drawing and I like having the space to draw with worrying about leaving room for word balloons. I also love drawing facial expressions, explosions, and weird monsters and believe it is very possible to tell a story through action alone. I also hate lettering my comics. It is unlikely you will see much dialogue in LIO.

#2 Mark T
March/20/2006
@ 10:17 pm

I created LIO because I like drawing and I like having the space to draw with worrying about leaving room for word balloons. I also love drawing facial expressions, explosions, and weird monsters and believe it is very possible to tell a story through action alone. I also hate lettering my comics. It is unlikely you will see much dialogue in LIO.

#3 Alan
March/21/2006
@ 2:29 pm

Some of the funniest Calvin and Hobbes strips had no words. I think there is power in pantomine that I hadn’t considered until I read this article. Best of luck on Lio.

#4 Alan
March/21/2006
@ 8:29 am

Some of the funniest Calvin and Hobbes strips had no words. I think there is power in pantomine that I hadn’t considered until I read this article. Best of luck on Lio.

#5 Robert
March/21/2006
@ 3:47 pm

I cruised over to check out “Lio” with pretty low expectations–“Henry” meets “Little Nemo” is what came to mind.

I was surprised at what I found. This is no cute strip. This kid lives in a twisted, surreal, Gahan Wilson-style universe with pinatas filled with hornets. If you’re a fan of the macabre and surreal, be sure to check this strip out.

I hope it gets picked up, as I’d make it part of my daily strip reads.

#6 Robert
March/21/2006
@ 9:47 am

I cruised over to check out “Lio” with pretty low expectations–“Henry” meets “Little Nemo” is what came to mind.

I was surprised at what I found. This is no cute strip. This kid lives in a twisted, surreal, Gahan Wilson-style universe with pinatas filled with hornets. If you’re a fan of the macabre and surreal, be sure to check this strip out.

I hope it gets picked up, as I’d make it part of my daily strip reads.

#7 Marc
March/21/2006
@ 3:56 pm

Fantastic work. Extremely humorous.

#8 Marc
March/21/2006
@ 9:56 am

Fantastic work. Extremely humorous.

#9 Mark T
March/21/2006
@ 10:39 am

Thanks for all your kind words.

Alan, excellent site! I visit daily!

#10 Barbara
June/1/2006
@ 11:15 am

I love Lio! I especially loved the animal cracker stampede. Thanks for the great strip!

Before I could read, eons ago, I made my dad read me the daily comics. My favorite was Henry – which didn’t have words. It perplexed my dad but he went along with it and I’ve loved comics ever since. I am THRILLED to have another wordless one – and it’s so well drawn (something I like about Heart too).

#11 gary
July/11/2006
@ 3:34 am

I love this kid.

#12 gary
July/10/2006
@ 9:34 pm

I love this kid.

#13 Eric
July/14/2006
@ 3:19 am

Lio is the most entertaining comic strip I’ve seen since Calvin & Hobbes! The lack of dialogue is what makes the strip so great and unique. Can’t wait for the first book! Thanks for brightening up the comics page here in Colorado.

#14 Eric
July/13/2006
@ 9:19 pm

Lio is the most entertaining comic strip I’ve seen since Calvin & Hobbes! The lack of dialogue is what makes the strip so great and unique. Can’t wait for the first book! Thanks for brightening up the comics page here in Colorado.

#15 Eric
July/14/2006
@ 3:21 am

Oh, and the nods to Edward Gorey and Charles Addams are obvious and welcome!

#16 Eric
July/13/2006
@ 9:21 pm

Oh, and the nods to Edward Gorey and Charles Addams are obvious and welcome!

#17 Josh from Houston
July/21/2006
@ 3:33 pm

As a regular daily comic reader, I have to say that nothing has brightened the funny pages like ‘Lio’ in many years. Once again, I have this little kernel of hilarity to look forward to every time I finish the paper. The creativity, zaniness (word?), and the complete lack of respect for the conventional and expected add up to one truly great strip.
Please be careful comparing this strip to Calvin and Hobbes! The similarities are that they both are about a young boy with mischief on his mind and that they are both hilarious… but ‘Lio’ is able to proudly stand on its own as a truly great strip.
Bravo!

#18 Josh from Houston
July/21/2006
@ 9:33 am

As a regular daily comic reader, I have to say that nothing has brightened the funny pages like ‘Lio’ in many years. Once again, I have this little kernel of hilarity to look forward to every time I finish the paper. The creativity, zaniness (word?), and the complete lack of respect for the conventional and expected add up to one truly great strip.
Please be careful comparing this strip to Calvin and Hobbes! The similarities are that they both are about a young boy with mischief on his mind and that they are both hilarious… but ‘Lio’ is able to proudly stand on its own as a truly great strip.
Bravo!

#19 Kay Kay
August/29/2006
@ 1:46 am

I loved Calvin and Hobbes and finally when I first read Lio, GENIUS popped in my head. And for once, checking the comic page is worth it. Awesome.

#20 Kay Kay
August/28/2006
@ 7:46 pm

I loved Calvin and Hobbes and finally when I first read Lio, GENIUS popped in my head. And for once, checking the comic page is worth it. Awesome.

#21 Rob
August/29/2006
@ 1:02 pm

The word “Genius” is thrown around too much. He’s not Einstien. He’s just a guy with a really clever sense of humor. Usually when I read a good strip the word “Ha ha ha ha ha” pops into my head and out of my mouth.

#22 Rob
August/29/2006
@ 7:02 am

The word “Genius” is thrown around too much. He’s not Einstien. He’s just a guy with a really clever sense of humor. Usually when I read a good strip the word “Ha ha ha ha ha” pops into my head and out of my mouth.

#23 Dana Larsen
October/25/2006
@ 4:52 am

More, more, more! I love the drawing and love seeing the world Lio sees. Congratulations Mr Tutulli. and thanks.
D. Larsen

#24 Dana Larsen
October/24/2006
@ 10:52 pm

More, more, more! I love the drawing and love seeing the world Lio sees. Congratulations Mr Tutulli. and thanks.
D. Larsen

#25 Lilith
May/7/2007
@ 9:30 pm

I absolutely love Lio. It gives a darker ironic twist to moments that many children have experienced. It’s not necessarily for a child to read, but for the discerning adult, perhaps.

#26 Lilith
May/7/2007
@ 3:30 pm

I absolutely love Lio. It gives a darker ironic twist to moments that many children have experienced. It’s not necessarily for a child to read, but for the discerning adult, perhaps.

#27 Eric Burke
May/8/2007
@ 3:23 am

LIO is one of the best new toons in a longtime. Right up there with Pearls Before Swine. I love it…

#28 Eric Burke
May/7/2007
@ 9:23 pm

LIO is one of the best new toons in a longtime. Right up there with Pearls Before Swine. I love it…

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