26 August 2009
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.
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…
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.