Drawn to Action: Graphic Artists Interpret Hanna

The Visually Graphic Hanna

Clearly Joe Wright’s thriller Hanna is built for action. The heart-pounding chases, bone-crunching fights, and gun-popping villains are expressed with such visual panache that the film feels as if a graphic novel had come to life. But Hanna is wholly original, and not adapted from anything. To get a sense if what it might look like it we pulled Hanna off the screen and put it on the page, we asked three prominent graphic artist to give us their take on the action yarn.

Jock: Hanna in the Snow

The award-winning British artist known simply as Jock is best known for his work with writer Andy Diggle on Vertigo's The Losers and the DC Comics’s Green Arrow: Year One. In creating graphic images inspired by Hanna, Jock was inspired by how the film was “beautifully shot” and by the “inspiring imagery with a hard edge of tough action and a great soundtrack.” To figure out what to create, Jock “played around with a lot of designs for the images. I loved the shots of Hanna and her father in the snow, and had a few ideas focused on a “whiteout” feel, the characters completely immersed in a blizzard, as well as a few shots of Hanna running and evading captors.” Jock relates how “the first drawing of Saiorse was inspired by the snow but I went for a stronger, bolder color choice rather than desaturated whites. Hanna as the hunter. Hopefully she looks pretty ominous too.”

Jock: The Container Park

Jock kept with Hanna (played by Saoirse Ronan in the film) for another image, but moved to the container park. For Jock, “the second Hanna design features the container crate chase sequence in the film. I love the idea of her being agile and able to leap around so I pushed the angle and design of the drawing to be as extreme and as bold as possible, distorting the straight lines so we get a fish eye lens effect. Although there are no agents in this shot, I'm hoping there's a sense of urgency in the design nonetheless.”

Jock: Erik

Finally Jock turned to the character of Erik (captured on film by Eric Bana). “The Erik image was again inspired by a sequence in the movie, an amazing one-take shot of him being hunted down by agents in a subway. I wanted a feeling of claustrophobia and threat, but also that Erik is aware and ready. The oranges reflect the location in which  the brawl takes place.”

Aaron Minier: "Adapt or Die"

When asked to created graphic images inspired by Hanna, Aaron Minier, a professional illustrator who has worked on such projects as PUSH, Tales from the Fringe, Battle of Destiny and his own graphic novel series Black Rose, readily admits to being “a big fan of this film genre.” But even more, what interested Minier was the fact “the movie utilized some gorgeous environments and had an abundance of raw energy––both are factors I strive to incorporate in my art.” The scene that got Minier’s “creative juices flowing involved Erik getting ambushed by a handful of agents in a large room with bright orange pillars. The fight that ensues is just brutal, and I was so impressed by the scene that I translated the scene directly to this image.” To help him, Minier turned to music, and in particular the Chemical Brothers (who composed the Hanna’s soundtrack). “I immediately started trying to hunt down whatever tracks were available at the time,” remembers Minier. “I heard Escape 700, and my brain melted. So, I guess you could say that I found more than enough inspiration from the Hanna scenes and sounds I sampled.” 

Alan Brooks: Cate Blanchett

Alan Brooks, a British-born graphic artist (now living in Florida), was inspired by the “range of expression and change of character with Cate Blanchett’s character.” Having worked extensively in illustrating sci-fi and fantasy projects, Brooks took the images of Cate with a gun and turned them into an explosion of color. As Brooks explains, “The timing of the scene takes a shift once the gunshot goes off behind Cate’s character. From then on in what was previously a scene of tension building soon let’s fly with quick cuts and bullets flying!”  In his illustration, Brooks “wanted to convey the change of character and pace from telephone conversation to shock, to shoot out. Ultimately the picture of the curtain blowing at the end sealed the piece as it does in the movie.”

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