Monthly Archives: October 2009

More Deep Space


In this forum, I’d like to spend a bit more time discussing deep space. This term, as we have seen, refers to the use of structural elements in a composition that create the illusion of three dimensions on a two dimensional surface. The most significant tool for achieving this illusion is perspective. Most commonly, the artist draws a horizon line or vanishing point and arranges his figures along receding lines called orthogonals that converge at the vanishing point. An example of this would be a set of train tracks that appears to join at the distant horizon. In this Captain America panel, the orthogonals are the planes of the desk, which meet at the horizon line which is just above Cap’s head.

Kirby uses the figures on the left to lead the eye to Captain America.


Cap’s right shoulder directs the eye to the figure draped over the desk, whose position emphasizes the edge of the desk leading to the seated figure of the warden at extreme right who is the panel’s focal point. Kirby also uses the size of the overlapping figures to create the illusion of deep space.

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