Lucaflect

lucaflect walker
Figure 1. Classic examples of the lucaflect, from Walker himself in The Lexicon of Comicana. source: Walker, M. (1980). The Lexicon of Comicana. Port Chester, N.Y.: Museum of Cartoon Art.

A lucaflect is a technique used in illustration, particularly in comics, to show that an object is round, wet, and/or shiny. A lucaflect almost always appears as a reflection of a four-plane, four-cornered window. According to Mort Walker, “It does not matter if a window is nowhere near. You will probably never be questioned about it.”

Lucaflect Collossus
Figure 2. Above, one can see a two classic lucaflects on Colossus’ forehead and hair. source: Contreras, R. (2015, August 6). Comic Art Terms- Lucaflect. Retrieved September 30, 2015.

In the top two images, the four-pane-window lucaflect can be seen clearly. In Walker’s example (see Figure 1), the lucaflects are obvious, and the style is very simple.

In the Colossus example the lucaflect is slightly more subtle, serving to highlight Colossus’ hair and face. Still the lucaflect appears in its classic window form. Judging by the style of the art one would assume that this version of Colossus was drawn in the modern era of comics. Unfortunately, the source for this image contains no source information as to what issue or story arc this image is from. Collosus is a member of the X-Men, and first appeared in Giant Size X-Men #1 in 1975, which was written by Len Wain and designed by Dave Cockrum.

 

lucaflect 3
Figure 3. Non-traditional lucaflects can be seen throughout the image. On the Helmet of Satellite Sam (the unlucky person who’s just been shot), on his buttons, on his boots, and the heels of the young woman’s shoes. image source: Chaykin, H. & Fraction, M. (2014) Satellite Sam. New York: Image Comics.

However, not all lucaflects appear in this way. In more recent comics, or comics with a more realistic style, lucaflects may lose their resemblance to windows, although they are still used to depict an object’s shape and shine. This image, from Satellite Sam (see Figure 3), shows a less traditional lucaflect. Satellite Sam is a comic book series by Matt Fraction and Howard Chaykin, which began its release in 2013.

 

Another example of not traditional lucaflects can be seen in the art of the comic book series saga. In Image 4, The Will and Lying cat are seen sitting on something (likely a spaceship) round and shiny and covered in lucaflects. One quick look at other art from the series, and you can tell that the artist, Fiona Staples, is quite fond of lucaflects, indeed.

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Image 4. The Will and Lying Cat sit atop a shiny sphere. image: Vaughan, B., & Staples, F. (2012). Saga (Vol. #4). Berkeley Calif.: Image Comics.

 

 

REFERENCES

Chaykin, H., & Fraction, M. (2014). Satellite Sam. New York: Image Comics.

Contreras, R. (2015, August 6). Comic Art Terms- Lucaflect. Comic Book Graphic Design. Retrieved September 30, 2015.

Vaughan, B., & Staples, F. (2012). Saga (Vol. #4). Berkeley, Calif.: Image Comics.

Walker, M. (1980). The Lexicon of Comicana. Port Chester, N.Y.: Museum of Cartoon Art.