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Noir: Andrew S. Allen’s “The Thomas Beale Cipher” January 28, 2011

Posted by leskanturek in Animation, Class Discussions, Film, Narrative, Noir.
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Instructor Peter Hamlin e-mailed me about a wonderful piece of noir animation by Andrew S. Allen,  ” The Thomas Beale Cipher“. Take a look .

NOIR- Assignment January 26, 2011

Posted by leskanturek in Class Assignments, Film, Noir, Visual Narrative.
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(above) Left- Man Ray’s Cadeau 1921 (center) The Black Swan (right) Journey into Mystery


You are going to  create/draw/paint etc. a Black & White narrative based on your 420 character story that we started in class. (For examples of 420 Character stories  look at illustrator Lou Beach’s wonderful site  http://www.420characters.com/     (420 characters is the maximum length of a facebook status update).

The length of your visual narrative is up to you and dependant on your  story.  It might be possible to create a great narrative in one drawing, you might need 2, 3 or 10 consecutive pieces or panels. It really depends on what will do your concept/story justice.     Don’t forget the possibility of working  in 3-D.

(above)  The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of  Mr. Punch Art by Dave McKean Writeen by Neil Gaiman


Your finished piece is going to be submitted to faculty member Ben Katchor who is creating an  11″ X 17″  4 page newsprint tabloid. There are going to be 7 different tabloids all together. One to be distributed each day of the New school’s Noir Festival which will take place Friday, April 1, 2011 – Friday, April 8, 2011. This  is a judged submission situation — only about 26 strips and drawings will be used over the seven tabloids.

Your work can be designed to fill an entire 11 x 17 page or any portion of that size. It must be all in black and white (or grey tones)

Think of what we saw in class and the adjectives you wrote down to describe Noir.

  • Moral ambiguity
  • Personal viewpoints
  • Anti-hero
  • An innocent being accused
  • Surrealism

Try and distill the basic ideas away from the icon of a detective.

The visual clichés of 1940-50s film noir should be avoided. Think about work that expands upon the conventional idea of what “noir” imagery might be. The “noir” impulse can include cynical attitudes, absurd and dark situations,  extreme psychological conditions, quasi-documentary authenticity, and amoral or alienated behavior.

Good Luck  -Les