Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Landing the Comic Book Way

Three point landings, all the time?

I think the answer is--when you land from a height, you need to absorb the fall, and it is better to almost fall forward, stabilized by one hand (with another on your weapon) than fall backwards.  But that is just a guess.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My first thought was that it was an aborted Martial-Arts-style forward roll, wherein one would crouch forward on the left knee, extend the left arm across the body, tuck the head, and push with the right leg to roll.

Watch the Major at 0:35-ish and see how, with a few tweaks, she could tuck that weapon or hold it out to the side, push with her right leg, relax her left elbow, and bleed off some of that roof-buckling momentum of hers.

If she did roll, of course, the roof wouldn't buckle, and you the viewer wouldn't get your little moment of "dayum" at realizing her impressively high specific gravity.

A roll might also be hard to follow in a close-up shot with a camera (because you start out directly in front of your subject, pan as they roll past you, and wind up looking at their un-photogenic back), so directors took out the roll and left the crouch leading up to it.

0:10 - Aang: doin' it right.

Problematically, in this video the subjects' right legs are almost always farther forward than their left, even when some of them should clearly know better:

Witness Samus at 0:27 nearly puncture her visor with her right knee.

Or martial-arts paragon Neo at 0:24 falling down like a drunken master.

Less-choreographed, seemingly unsophisticated characters like Jimbo (0:23) manage apparently safer landings just by crouching frog-like.

For him, and also for Wonder Woman and a smattering of others in the video, Mr Saideman's explanation is probably all that is needed.

One could hypothesize that a hybrid stance, like Sora's (0:28) might have been first to evolve. He's got the right leg back enough that it could push him into a roll, but aside from stiff-arming the ground like the Major did, he's also pushing his right foot out and to the side, creating two points of stabilization.

Over time, this could evolve into the full-on Trinity (pun not intended) of 0:19.

Really, though, without knowing where this stance first appeared, and how its characteristics morphed, both over time and along lines of influence from director to director, any theory is guesswork.