What does Oscar Wilde's "The Happy Prince" have in common with Frank Miller's "Sin City"? And why would Edgar Allan Poe hate to have Alfred Hitchcock as a neighbor? Weird questions indeed. However, the answers are simple: both Wilde's and Miller's works provide cinematic storylines that are predestined to be transferred into pieces of sequential art. Wilde's heart-melting fairy tale of love simply provides the best requirements for a visual rendering of its humane message.
And as for Poe and Hitch: well, one of them hates and the other one loves certain birds.
They are horrifying blood-sucking ghouls, creepy creatures of the night and fiendish freaks from hell. And still, one can not help but feel sheer sympathy for Count Dracula when he gets frustrated over his inability to check his hairstyle in a mirror. Vampires, zombies and all other kinds of monsters are visualizations of man's deepest fears and therefore very human themselves. As one of the greatest thinkers of our time once said:
"When I was old enough to go to movies alone, I got to see 'Frankenstein' and 'Dracula' on the big screen. I just fell in love with them." -George A. Romero
A caricature is commonly defined as a hyperbolic depiction of an individual's physical traits and uniquenesses that can also be indicative of the subjects personal characteristics and temperamental peculiarities, either in a complimentary or insulting way. Or, in an artist's words: "Damn, that dude's got huge nose! I gotta draw it!"
Would Darth Vader still be such a cool movie villain had Ralph McQuarrie not suggested he wear a breathing mask? Or would "Blade Runner" still be as visually stunning had Syd Mead not created his awe-inspiring vision of a neo-noirish cyber-punk future? Howsoever, concept art allows the viewer to see something before it’s being created … or before it will never be.
Before applying any India ink, acrylic or oil paint, before using any felt pens, drawing pens, brushes or airbrush gun, before even thinking of opening a computer program in order to give the picture its finishing touch, before freaking out multiple times over an illustration because it simply won't come out as desired … before all that, there is just a white sheet of paper and a pencil!