Quite frankly, either comics aren’t my forte or I do not understand the reading, because I found I was less interested after reading chapters three & four. I had to re-read many of the pages to understand what McCloud was trying to convey. Time...Closure...Motion…What? I was overwhelmed with information. Gladly, though, I went over his theories, and I realized, “Hey, this isn’t so bad!” Be aware though, McCloud is tiring me out with his superfluous definitions; it’s easy for me get bored if something is being dragged on too long.
First off, in chapter three, McCloud makes a genius point about closure and imagination, and how they coincide with each other; almost like a “silent dance.” (92) McCloud uses the illustration, of the popular game Peek-A-Boo, to help justify his definition of closure. Think of a baby when they get excited after you pop out from behind your hands and say, “Peek-A-Booo!!” Immediately their face lights up and they giggle. You repeat this a couple more times, and still the baby gets excited. Now use that significance to the space between panels. You don’t necessarily know what happens between that space (or time…but we’ll get to that later) but from experience, as McCloud puts it, “tells you something MUST be there.” Thus, your imagination allows you to create the scenario or the picture in your mind from experience. How cool is that? I thought it was pretty sweet because I didn’t realize how imagination is not only created by the author/artist of their comic, but also the reader. It’s important to use your imagination, especially in comics, and I can’t argue that!
Secondly, McCloud discusses his long, so…very...long description of different transitions used to move from scene to scene. McCloud goes on a tangent (yes, sorry to offend anyone) on how comic artists use different style of panels (whether it be one of the 6 different styles: moment-to-moment, aspect-to-aspect, subject-to-subject, etc…) to create a comic. Particularly this area is where McCloud lost me. I had very little interest in the different panels. However, they are important to know if you want to become a comic artist, or if you just want to learn more about comics. Thirdly, in chapter four McCloud, again, goes on a very detailed explanation of time and motion between and during panels. The spaces between panels aren’t just spaces; they have a proper name, which is “gutters.” (66) Now, in those gutters a lot can happen. It’s up to the reader, though, to create that time. Also, time is very, very important because either something has happened, is happening, or it’s going to happen. As McCloud says it best, “Motion in comics is produced between panels by the mental process called closure.” (107) Thus, time is everything, but it’s the reader who allows time and motion to flow flawlessly.
So far, I’ve learned a lot about comics. I know I’ll be able to apply and recognize when the author is using not-so-realistic illustrations or how he wanted to perceive time through comics, but I can’t learn just by reading; I need to see, test it out, and picture it in my head. Let’s bring out the comics! When will we read and learn first hand the different styles, illustrations, or different meanings? I realize understanding the history of comics is vital in taking a class about comics, but I want to be thrown into some action. Let me get addicted to comics! However, I realize it’s only been two weeks since we’ve started reading about comics (times flies by so fast...sigh), but I’m ready for some action! Let the classics (or not so good comics) come out and show us what they’re all about. After all, McCloud is a fanatic about comics (hence his book) so let’s test it out and read some comics.