Unreliable Illustrator YKTTW Discussion

Unreliable Illustrator
(permanent link) added: 2010-03-18 17:04:28 sponsor: BonsaiForest (last reply: 2010-03-18 17:05:15)

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Was: Illustration And Text Segregation

What do you call it when the illustration and text in a book don't line up? Like when a character is described one way, but is shown another? I'm pretty sure we don't have this, but I think it might be tropeable.

  • In The Elfstones of Shannara, the Dagda Mor, the Big Bad, is a demon that's described in the book as being a vaguely ape-like creature, but in the interior illustration depicting the final battle, he's shown as a typical Black Cloak-and-horns-and-pitchfork devil.
  • In the reissues of the Ramona Quimby books, which feature new illustrations, characters are shown not doing exactly what the text says, or dressed differently from the text.
    • For example, Ramona is said to angrily stomp her bare foot on the floor, but she's shown wearing socks. Another time, she's said to cry and have her tears land on her skirt, but she's shown wearing shorts (perhaps done to accommodate the "modernization" of the books and the changing times).
    • In an example of added detail unrelated to the text, when Ramona is scooping out pumpkin seeds, Beezus is seen looking grossed out. The text makes no mention of Beezus's reaction either way.
  • I don't remember which one, but in one of the Harry Potter books, the chapter illustration shows Snape looking nothing like how he's described in the books (most notably, the illustration shows him with a goatee).
  • The Monster Manual in Dungeons & Dragons 3E features some monsters whose illustrations don't exactly fit their descriptions:
    • The Allip (an undead man) is described as looking just like when it was alive, but with an insane grimace on its face, eyes burning with fear and the lower part of the body blurring into nothingness. The illustration, however, depicts something that look like a vaguely humanoid, tattered black rag without eyes or a face.
    • The undead Bodak is also described as just in life, but with fear on his face, hairless gray skin and empty white eyes. But the illustration goes a little further, turning its skull into something from an X-Files gray alien.
    • And a minor example: The Stone Giant is described as having black eyes, but in the illustration they are pearly white.
  • In The Mighty Thor #499 Thor is in Asgard with three characters named Kim, Annie, and Sylvia. Then Sylvia goes missing...or at least they talk about her going missing but the artist kept drawing her into the panel! Kim's hair and outfit change from panel to panel as well. More here: [1] [2]
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