26 August 2009

English? Who needs that? I'm never going to England -Homer Simpson

Spider-pig, spider-pig does whatever a spider-pig does, can he swing from a web? No he can't because he's a pig, look out spider-pig!
Homer Simpson in "The Simpson Movie" may not have been the brightest cartoon, but he pointed out an important fact going on the world today, "Global Warming."
Homer Simpson's daughter Lisa Simpson is trying to help save the lake because it was contaminated. Lisa Simpson was able to get the community involved but then Homer Simpson saves a pig and takes the pig home. Homer Simpson puts the pigs waste in, what looks to be an aluminum disposal. When Homer Simpson was told to take it away he dumps it in the river. The river that the town and Lisa Simpson were trying to restore. From that point everything turns into a disaster, so much chaos happening in the town. Homer Simpson fleets town and the government decided to put the town in a huge glass globe. It was supposed to be destroyed but Homer Simpson then saves the town, when seeing his family in a struggle.
Like this cartoon and many others, people, at times, do not know that they are being told about a lot of real issues in this world. Most people tend to lose focus on information being presented by realistic objects and people. Seeing cartoons often catches the audience attention, because it is more persuasive. When you see cartoon movies, shows, and newspaper articles it is interesting, even if the the topic is broad. Readers are more focused on the illustrations, animations, and icons that which feed off different messages to the audience. The on looker may not know that facts are being stored in the brain and then reviewed to understand what is actually happening. Chapter two describes many examples in the way we see cartoons and how most icons and comics are more likely to receive attention to the human eye. I enjoyed reading this chapter, it has helped me to understand comics a little more and it's effect on people.

Comics?

Scott McCloud, the author of Understanding Comics addresses his definition of comics, it’s history, missing links, and what is not apart of the definition. At the beginning of Chapter 1 Scott McCloud begins by breaking down a comic and defining it for us. His definition of a comic is a juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence. The second thing he talks about is the history of comics that date back as late as 1519. He talks about pre-Columbian picture manuscript, the Bayeux Tapestry of the Norman Conquest, Egyptian Paintings, and Europe’s take on comics. William Hogarth made a six-plate picture story that presented a very detailed story and addressed strong social concerns. Another artist named in Understanding Comics is Lynd Ward, Scott McCloud describes him as a missing link in comic book history because of the negative light comics book have shed upon them. Lynd Ward, created modern fables that are seen by comics artists as comics, but not recognized as comics by others. Lastly Scott McCloud talks about what is not apart of the definition. A few of the things he has mentioned about what is not apart of the comic book definition is superheros, fantasy, reader age, printing process, technical pens, materials, or funny animals. Comics could have any or none of those things in them as long as they are a juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence.
In my opinion I enjoyed Scott McCloud’s reading better then David Kenzel’s, but I think that they address the same issues. What I got out of reading Scott McCloud’s reading is that in different cultures people used comics in a way to communicate their way of life and preserve knowledge of times that should be remembered. Again, I think this is another argument against the saying that, “comics are for children, not for adults.” I think, in the two readings I’ve read about the history of comics, they have made it clear that comics were not made solely for children, but for adults, as well.
My definition of comics were that they were made for children, had to have pictures, and they had to have superheroes in them. Reading another book about comics made me feel that I had no idea about comics and what they were about. One of the first things mentioned that do not have to be in the comics is superhero’s and that ruled out one third of my definition of comics. That made me laugh…

.:The Truth Behind Comics:.

In chapter one, "Setting the Record Straight", of Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics, a definition of comics is described ("Juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer"). McCloud also goes on to explain that comics aren't as simple and insignificant as most make them out to be. In fact, comics are not given the recognition deserved and aren't seen as very influential, although they indeed are. This chapter also gives a brief history of comics, telling how we can actually date them back to at least 1519. In the end, McCloud explains how comics will never be truly defined, for "Our attempts to define comics are an on-going process which won't end anytime soon".


Before actually reading this book and just glancing at it, I had no clue as to what to expect. I actually came to really enjoy this reading though. It's interesting to me how one can make an entire book's worth of ideas pertaining to comics actually using comics! What really sparks my interest though, is how in each panel you can see how the author visualizes the ideas he is speaking of. You actually get to view what is being read, given the advantage to truly understand what McCloud is trying to depict. For example, on page 10, McCloud is running back in time on a timeline to show us how we can place comics much farther back than the beginning of the 1900's. In this, we get to see how this idea plays out in his mind. This book really is an interesting one, far better than the conventional text book reading!

25 August 2009

How it all Started

The first chapter of Understanding Comics was basically about how we define comics. Scott McCloud discusses several ways to define comics, the importance, and some of the history behind it. Along with that he discusses a couple of people who contributed to the growth of comics.
I enjoyed reading this book because it started off by giving a story on how he began reading comics and how he became obsessed with them. That story immediately grabbed my attention and I wanted to keep reading. I liked when Scott McCloud explained about the history of comics. I never realized how old the art of comics were. Especially the Egyptian hieroglyphics, they were considered early forms of comics because they depicted some of the action sequences that were similar to modern day comics. Scott McCloud also talked about how important the invention of printing was. With the invention of printing, it allowed everyone to enjoy comics, not just the rich and powerful. McCloud also discusses about some of the people who helped the growth of the picture story, like William Hogarth and Rudolphe Topffer. Rudolphe Toppher was considered the father of modern day comics in many ways. He created light satiric picture stories, starting in the mid 1800’s, he employed cartooning and panel borders, and featured the first interdependent combination of words and pictures seen in Europe. William Hogarth and Rudolphe I believe started the growth of comics.
I honestly thought that the reading was pretty good because it was a comic itself. I believe visuals help you understand the concept better. It definitely beats reading a thick fat book that’s hard to understand. I learned a lot from this chapter. It gave me a basic understanding of how comics all started and how it is different from today.

Understanding the Juxtaposed Pictorial!!

Comics have always been seen as a joke and have never really been seen as an educational tool. Scott McCloud, the author of the book Understanding Comics defines comics as being a "Juxtaposed (side-by-side) pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer." This definition means that a comic needs to be a series of pictures that are side by side that can or cannot have writing on the picture. The comics are supposed to convey certain information that allowes the reader to have some kind of response to the story. Scott McCloud was one of those people who thought that comics were a joke and only for those nerds who were noneducated, he didn't think that they had any kind of a story line or a rhymn or reason to any of the pictures. As time went by Scott McCloud learned to love Comics and learned that they really do have a history and do have an educational purpose. Scott McCloud is pretty sure that Comics began in the 1500's with the epic story of the 8-deer "Tiger's-Claw." This manuscript allowed historians to view what happened in the story by the sequence of events that were drawn, like the juxtaposed describes. The next collection of comics that was studied was the Bayeux Tapestry. This tapestry was not technically considered an actual comic, but Scott McCloud decided that modern artists should look at this tapestry to be able to learn the possibilities of doing a full page composition in their art.
There have been artists in the past who have done comics but who have not fully grasped the full potential that their art could have had. Rodolphe Topffer is one of those artists who didn't fully understand where his comics could have gone, had he seen the full potential he could have reached. A man by the name of Goethe came to the conclusion that "if for the future, he [Topffer] would choose a less frivolous subject and restrict himself a little, he would produce things beyond all conception." After Topffer's descoveries the British kept the caricatures alive in their magazines and by the 20th century the comics that we know began to appear. After that the printing press came about and made comics a better known art and more readily available to the public. Comics were then used for car owner's manuals, stained glass windows, and communication tools. Scott McCloud that at this point in time, comics, by his definition rule out no materials or tools that can be used when creating comics. Scott McCloud said that "our attemps to define comics are an on-going process which won't end anything soon."
The definition of comics is not set in stone and is an ever changing process. I am also one of those people like Scott McCloud who believed that comics were nothing but a waste of my time and effort to even read. Because of Scott McClouds definition that he came up with, comics have a new definition for me. I realized that comics really do have a rhymn and a reason to the way that they are put together. I never realized that comics have been around for so long and that even ancient Egyptian writings were considered a comic. I know that I am more educated in the study of comics and am actually kind of interested to find out where comics began and how to fully understand what comics are trying to get across. Scott McCloud has made my viewpoint of comics better and I feel as though I understand them a little bit better.

Eddie Understanding "Understanding Comics"

In the first chapter of Scott McCloud's "Understanding Comics", he defines what a comic is and explains how it's different from animation and other kinds of art. Once he does that he explains the history of comics going back as early as 1049AD. These comics are not like today's comics in the sense that that they don't have panels but are instead in drawn on several or hundreds of feet long scripts. When printing was invented is around when were used in comics. Rodolphe Topfffer was the first to combined words and pictures and the British caricature magazines kept this going and eventually became the comics that we know of today. What I like about "Understanding Comics", like many other people I'm sure are the pictures. They keep me interested and almost make reading enjoyable for me. 

Comics 101

After reading the first chapter in Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics, I realized that there are a few things I have never heard or known about comics. McCloud explains that every writer has a different technique, different content in their comic strips, different drawings, and different messages. McCloud's definition of a comic is, "Juxaposed, Pictoral, and other Images in Deliberate Sequence." This seems like a complex definition for comic strips. The average person would most likely define comics as, "pictures with words in bubbles." McCloud explains how it's simply not that easy to define a comic. Who would have known that comics date back to the egyptian times? When I think of Hieroglyphics, the word comic strip doesn't exactly pop into my mind. It makes sense though, all of these examples are in sequence like McCloud says. Other examples McCloud uses are Photo Booths, Instructional Manuels, and even some Stained Glass windows displaying Biblical scenes. I never would have compared those things to the comic strips in the Sunday Paper!

Another thing I found interesting is the part where McCloud talks about Max Ernst's "Collage Novel, a Week of Kindness." He says that, "this 182 plate sequence of collages is widely considered a masterpiece of 20th century art, but no art history teacher would dream of calling it "comics". I find this funny because it just proves how lowly scholars think of comics. In reality comics do date back and there is a history and a technique to writing a comic. I think that our society has put this label of "comics" on them that makes it hard for people to take them seriously. Obviously there is more to know than what meets the eye.

My Adventure of Understanding Comics

In the introduction of Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud explains his personal history of comics and how people made fun of him for liking comics. He would try to explain but people failed to understand comics, they defined comics as being to narrow. But a proper definition might give lie to all the stereotypes and like Scott McCloud says, "show the potentail of comics is limitless and exciting."
Comic artist use the term sequencial art when describing comics. Meaning two or more pictures in a sequence which is then transformed into the art of comics. But then Scott McCloud starts to add more words to defining comics, which I never knew that defining comics could be so deep. He adds the words juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, and then he relates it to comics and this is what we get. . . Comics are juxtapose pictorial and other images in deliberate sequences intented to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer.
Nobody knows where or when comics originated. The Bayeax tapestry, Egyption painting, Greek columns, Japanes scrolls have all been considered and researched to be comics. But there is one invention in the history of the world that set comics free and that is the invention of the printing press. With this invention now everyone had an opportunity to enjoy it, where as before only the rich and powerful could afford.
The father of modern comics is Rodolphe Topffer. He made satiric picture, stories including cartoons, and even panel boards. His stories included the first independant combination of words and pictures seen in Europe. But as sad as it may seem Topffer never grasped the full potentail of his invention because he simply called it his hobby.
On the last few pages Scott McCloud talks about the potental of comics and how we see them in our everyday lives.
For the most part I really enjoyed reading Understanding Comics. I came to understand a little bit more about comics and their true potential. I learned about the definition of comics and what it intells for it to be a comic. I liked how he gave a breif history of comics and how he then related it back to the definition of comics. I learned how comics are everywhere for example instructions, diagrams, are comics and even stained glass windows are. I learned that trying trying to define comics is an on going process, and thus far I have enjoyed it and am looking forward to learning more about it.
Stephanie DeVisser

Setting the record straight

In the first chapter of "Understanding Comics the invisible art," by scott mcCloud, i've found very useful information on my outlooks and opinions of all comics in general. Not only are the words in this chapter interesting but they are very informational and revealing of the true identities of comics. Mc Cloud states that Comics have a stereotype of crappy art and kiddie-like stories and for that, they are looked upon as somewhat childish and immature.. Also, it is said that just about ANY topic can be covered in comic form and that we as a people need to realize how important comics can really be. McCloud informs us that comics have been around for many years, several centuries actually. He explains that the art stories the ancient egyptians left, were very similar to comics and are still very important amoung people around the world today. He states that i nthe late 1800s, the british were the ones who finally were able to get what we call comics today, in a steady stream throughout mainstream society. "sequential art" is stated by McCloud, to be everywhere all around us. Whether it be in the form of car owners manuals or famous artists paintings to even stained glass windows. He reminds us that he will do his best in providing us with as much information and will try to give us a better understanding of comings, in chapters to come. I personally enjoy the style of the way this book is written and the whole comic effect on the topic of understanding comics, definitely makes it that much more interesting. I'm intrigued by the tone the author takes and excited to see whats to come ahead in future chapters.

chapter 2 Understanding Comics

After reading chapter 2 of Understanding Comics I have a better understanding of comics. Scott McCloud talks about the identity we find in the pictures we see. He also talks about how drawing these pictures can be done in so many ways and mean so many different things. McCloud talks about how we can see the simplist picture and still see the meaning of that picture just as we would a very detailed almost portrait type of picture.
I am learning alot about comics. I never thought i would be so interested in reading and getting to know more about comics however ones I get into the reading and see the pictures and art I cant help but want to see more.

Comics Are No Laughing Matter!

In Scott McClouds, "Understanding Comics The Visual Art", the history of comic books are revealed. Scott McCloud is not only the author of this book but he is pretty much the narrator. In the introduction and chapter one, McCloud talks about how comics are not taken seriously. But yet comics have been around for centuries. Dating back to the hieroglyphics of the Egyptian era. McCloud also gives comics a definition and gives meaning behind comic books. Comics have always been looked down on in the academic area. McCloud compares comics to movie shots because the movie is simply a very slow comic pg. 8. Comics are not just funny pictures, they are panels presenting a message.

I have a complete different outlook on comics now. Before I just thought of comics as being for little kids. The pictures and short stories did not look amusing to me. But now after learning the history behind comics, I appreciate the history of comics. Comics are a way of delivering a certain message to any type of crowd. I like this book it gives quick, to the point information without long boring sentences. It is presented as a comic book would be. Great book!

Can you define comics?

In the book Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, Scott McCloud's first chapter is called setting the record straight. He begins by trying to figure out a way to define comics. What he comes up with is "juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence."(McCloud page 9) McCloud begins to explain this definition by going back in time and to a manuscript discovered in 1519. McCloud from there just goes on speaking about all the different ways to view comics and show us examples of how they have been around such a long time weather we knew about it or not. He basically explains the different ways of viewing a comics and making us see comics in ways we probably never thought they would be.
I love this book, not literally but you knew what I mean. This book is a book that I can actually read with an interest. I enjoy comics so seeing a book written like this catches my eye and is able to keep me interested. I always thought comics could only be used to tell fictional stories such as Superman, X-men and all that. I never imagined seeing it in huge pictures hanging on walls side by side in sequential order could be considered a comic strip. So just this one chapter has made me see comic in a different way and also to be able to understand comics better hopefully.

A Comical History

Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics: the Invisible Art, is about, well, a book about comics. Now, McCloud’s book isn’t just an ordinary book; it’s a story made of sequential art explaining to his audience the history, the making, and the importance of comics. Along side of the animated illustrations are words, spoken in the first person, explaining McCloud’s point of view. What’s different about this book, though, is that you can actually see the author, Scott McCloud. He is the animated character, with large round spectacles, on each page talking to you. I realize he isn’t actually having a conversation with the reader, but he is explaining himself as though he is the professor in a classroom. Furthermore, McCloud’s main focus in the introduction and first chapter is to explain what he is going to teach you. McCloud attempts to give a specific definition of comics, “Juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer.”(9) However, he later admits the definition of comics today isn’t set in stone, as future generations will come along and change the future of comics. Along with the unfixed definition, McCloud expresses comics, (actually, “picture manuscripts”) to have begun as far as Pre-Columbia and even in the Egyptian ages. Although, there were traces of comics found in ancient “picture manuscripts,” the actuality being comics didn’t come along until the “invention” of printing. (10) Also, note that Rodolphe Topffer, as McCloud put it “father of modern art,” and the 20th century are important because that is when actual comics appeared. McCloud then finishes off his chapter with an open definition of comics and also makes it apparent that comic(s) is a broad subject, and we may never be able to have a set definition or understand all of comics.

After I read McCloud’s first couple of pages, I was impressed. Not with the material, but rather with the illustrations. Please don’t think the reading wasn’t interesting, because it was! I thought the details and explanations were very informative. However, the art is what caught my attention and actually encouraged me to continue reading McCloud’s book. I don’t think if I read a regular book about comics, it would have been nearly as interesting as reading it in original comic strips. The illustrations were comical (no pun intended) and very eye-catching. I am excited to learn more about comics after reading the first two parts of McCloud’s book. And believe it or not, I don’t think I would mind picking up a comic book and getting lost in it. I suppose we learn something new everyday, and McCloud surely has taught me that.

The adventures of Trini and The book of Understanding Comics pt. 1

I read through the introduction and the first two chapters of Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics. I have to say that i am very glad that Scott McCloud made his book like a giant comic book. The reason is because its more entertaining for me to read and learn from this book than some boring old text book with no pictures. The introduction was great where Scott McCloud is on the phone with his friend Matt Feazell telling him about how great his new comic is going to be. And Matt Feazell replies with "Oh. Aren't you kind of young doing that sort of thing?". The introduction was a great example on how a comic is in being serious and being funny at the same time.

Scott McCloud explains in the first chapter how to define comics, the history of early types of comics, and how comics are more complex and complicated than what meets the eye. Heck i was blown out of my mind when i began reading chapter two. Scott McCloud adds humor and a level of intelegence in comics that he makes you see comics and everything around you differently than what you use to see.

I can't wait to start reading further in to Understanding Comics. This book has made me look at comics more differently than what i first preceived of them. Way beyond than of what i first thougth of them when i first entered the class.