Video of “Impression du Matin” by Oscar Wilde

James Avis has been putting together a series of video adaptations of some of my poetry comics, and I will be posting a new one of them here each week. This week’s installment features Oscar Wilde’s atmospheric evocation of a London morning, “Impression du matin,” read by the English actor Sean Barrett.

I really like what this kind of “semi animation” brings to the illustrations. It reminds me, and I mean this as the highest compliment, of the Japanese anime series that I watched as a child, which derived a lot of what I now recognize as their grace and poetry from the use of panning shots and zooms over single beautifully painted images. Unlike full-blown animation, which is really its own thing, this technique feels like in a way like the ultimate amplification of an illustration. It seems to me to bring the illustration a step closer to what H. P. Lovecraft once called “the realisation of that always-beckoning and bitterly-tantalising conception of imaginative infancy– a fairy-tale picture into which one can actually walk.”

I should mention that the style of the drawings here is heavily indebted to that of the great Italian comics artist Dino Battaglia.

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