01 September 2009
McCloud explains the way how we humans use closure in things we see and relate to what that person, place or thing looks like. McCloud also show how the gap between every panel is a form in which we use to figure out what happens between the panels. A great example and explanation is on pages eighty eight and eighty nine. McCloud says that what happens between the two panels happens in your own mind in which thousands of possibilities can occur upon readers. This is what McCloud explains as participation. This participation in the comic is what I never really thought about until now.
In how time moves in comics and the styles of motion, I didn’t find to interesting because I knew they existed and I knew it happened in the comic. Yes the basic elements for most comic books have to use motion and time movement but I found little interest personally.
31 August 2009
Chapter four on "Time" was a bit more confusing to me. Scott McCloud talks about a gutter effect. There is a panel with rain and people with umbrellas. The lines that are in the panel are giving a rain image, which was quite obvious. I was walking in the rain on day, if you watch closely and long enough you can actually see thousands of little lines indicating it's raining. My example of time and the gutter would be if you wave your hand slowly you can see the lines of your hands moving in a slow motion, but if you move your hands fast you can see the many lines and hands indicating your hand is moving rapidly. Without time we all would just be still. I realized that comics are a lot more complicated than I ever expected.
Chapter four was basically about time frames. Time is comic compare to no other form of entertainment. Scott McCloud bascially calles it "weird" Portraying time he says on a vertical axis only trangles up time after so long. A silent panel though can sometimes be portrayed as a single moment. The duration of time and dimensions of space are defined more on the contents than the actually panel. Panel shapes sometimes will alter the reader's experience in this case. Learning to read comics time is learned to be read spatially. Time and space are considered one in comics. Additional effects such as multiple images or streaking effects get the readers more involved in the action. The ability to depict action in time frames make the comics become even more fun. Subject motion makes the object more involving. And wth time generally leads the comic to either action or sound.
Chapeter 3 and 4 are generally more involving than the previous chapter. It gives us as students the allowing to understand the reason why we see what we see when we read or watch television. Also the studying of time frames in ingenious.
Chapter 3 was very interesting because it taught me something really fascinating about comics. I read comics a lot, but i never really thought of the process that it takes to read them as that crafty.
Chapter 3 covers closure, what the gutter is, being a silent accomplice and how the readers are a key ingredient in comics, panel-to-panel transitions and the categories they fall under, finding a balance, and closure between panels. In the book closure is defined as a, "phenomenon of observing the parts but perceiving the whole." It also talks about the gutter and the part it plays within the comic book. Gutters are the spaces between the panels. The gutters are how we, as readers become silent accomplices to the comic and the story it's telling. We are the key ingredients in comic's because it is our imagination that tells the story in between panels. Chapter 3 also talks about panel-to-panel transitions and the different categories they fall under. There are six different categories, they are moment-to-moment, action-to-action, subject-to-subject, scene-to-scene, aspect-to-aspect, and non-sequitur. In American comics we use action-to-action, suject-to-subject, and scene-to-scene. Scott McCloud also talks about how hard it is for artist to find a balance between using different panel-to-panel transitions. The more panel-to-panel transitions the artist uses the more complicated it is to find a balance. The last topic chapter 3 talks about is closure between panels.
As I was reading this chapter I was surprised to find how much I use my imgination without knowing it. I never realized how much thought I put into reading a comic before, compared to how much thought I use when I read a regular book. I love to read, especially at night because it helps me to fall asleep. Maybe, reading a comic instead of a book would not help put me to sleep because im using more of my thought process to read the comic then I am my regular novels. In comics I think there is more interaction because we are the, "silent accomplice," not just picturing what others have wrote.
Sound and Motion?
Chapter 4 is about,"words introduce time by representing that which can only exist in time-sound," comics most important icon and how they indicate space is being divided, how different size panels can change ther readers perception of time, and how to show movement in comics. In chapter 4 Scott McClouds explains how sound and motion can indicate time passing and how comics most important icon, the panel can also help to show time passing by changing the size or shape of the panel. The last topic Scott McCloud talks about is how to bring motion into comics. He talks about the different ways you can do it, some history, and the different styles between American and Japanese.
I've never stopped and thought about sound or motion or the relationship they can have with text and time. In other words, I really didnt know that comics were so complicated. I didn't know it was important to incorporate sound or motion if an artist wanted to indicate for the reader that time has passed or to not incorporate sound and motion and still get their point and story across without any confusion. Comics seem to be very complicated...and it's making my head hurt...good night...
I thought that chapter three was a little interesting. I learned that closure is pretty much how we as readers put the panels together in order to form a story. McCloud gives us the six different types of panel to panel transitions. The first transition is called moment to moment which require very little disclosure. The second is action to action, which describes transitions depicting a single subject in distinct action sequences. The third transition is subject to subject, in which the subject changes from one panel to the next, which makes a degree of reader involvement necessary to actually understand the transitions. The fourth is scene to scene transitions, which are used to often transport the reader across significant distances of time and space. The fifth transition is the aspect to aspect transition, which bypasses time and for the most part and sets a wandering eye on different aspects of a place, idea or mood. The last of the six transitions is called non-sequitur, which offers no logical relationship between panels whatsoever. I thought that these six different types of transitions were very interesting. I never really looked at comics to the point where there are different types of ways to go from panel to panel. I thought comics were just supposed to be simple as, the moment to moment transition, to where all readers know what is going on. I never realized how much of our imagination we use when we read comics.
Chapter four was basically about time frames. McCloud explains how the panel itself is so important in the passage of time. McCloud believes that the panel is often overlooked. The Panels indicate the division of time and space in comics. Sometimes comic writers make a panel horizontal in order to imply the passage of time. By changing the shape of the panels readers are persuaded that more time has passed. McCloud also brings up that having no borders around your panels can cause a timeless feel. McCloud says that such a panel may linger in the reader’s minds, and its presence may be felt in the panels which follow it. I never realized how important little things like the size of the panels or having no borders can be important in comics. These types of things can help set the mood and place of the comic.
Overall I thought that chapter three and four were way more entertaining than chapter two. These chapters were way easier to understand. After reading the first four chapters I’m really starting to learn more about comics and understand more. I’m starting to realize how comics have so many different thoughts and ideas that are put into them.
So while reading chapter 4 "Time Frames" he speaks about how you can extend time in a panel by just adding a pause in a panel. Also instead of adding duplicate panels to make the pause longer it shows how it makes the panel bigger thus extending the pause. He mainly speaks of the time and space of the panel and also how frames come in various sizes. The sizes can be used in a numerous amount of ways. One example is the Bleeds method he shows by making the panel reach the edge of the page and make it into timeless space. McCloud also speaks of how they capture motion in comics as movies were using. The example I love is the car if you take a picture of it going at 60 mph it is a blur, but when you are going side by side with it at the same speed you keep the car in focus and have the background in a blur kinda image.
These two chapters were hard for me to read. I think chapter 4 wasn't so bad compared to chapter 3. I had such a hard time understanding what he was talking about half the time jumping from his categories to Japanese comics. I had to read these pages over a few times to truly understand what he was trying to say about closure. How it works and what it means. To me it means what we see happening between the panels even though they are not showing anything between them. The panels basically are more than what you see on them it is also what you imagination can bring up while you are looking from one panel to the other. You need to be able to use this imagination to be able to see what is going on deeper in the comic you are reading at the moment. So yes I had a hard time reading chapter 3 but by reading it a few times I was able to understand what McCloud was trying to get across in the most basic sense.
30 August 2009
Chapter four is about how long a scene of a panel can actually take. Looking at a panel you would just guess that it is not a long scene. But more than one conversation or action might be taking place. Panels are used as a general indicator that time or space is being divided. The time that each panel takes up varies. All comics have panels that separate different scenes. But sometimes one scene can be broken up into other panels because there is more than one scene going on. Even wider panels can give out the message of time consuming. On page 101 it shows a man asking a question and the man answering is blank. Then in the next panel he answers. It gives the reader a pause in the conversation and makes the comic into reality.
These two chapters opened my eyes to comic books. And they go into depth about the theory behind even the smallest things. Such as the gutter and giving it meaning to why it is there. I respect the fact that comics are not just are and speech bubbles. They are far more advanced than i thought they were.
The space between the panels of a comic are called “the gutter”. The gutter takes two separate images and turns them into a single idea. Scott McCloud says, “Nothing is seen between the two panels but experience tells you something must be there!” And that is where closure comes in, closure allows us to connect these moments, and simulate time and motion.
The art of comics is a subtractive art and finding the balance between too much and too little is crucial. The way we arrange comics is also very crucial and quite complicated. This is one of the reasons closure is so important. Scott McCloud says “whatever the mysteries within each panel, it’s the power of closure between panels that I find the most interesting. There’s something strange and wonderful that happens in this blank ribbon of paper.”
In chapter 4, “Time Frames” Scott McCloud tells us that time in comics is infinitely wide. He says that just a picture and the intervals create an illusion of time through closure; words introduce time by representing that which can only exist in time. . . SOUND
Panels act as time or space as it is being divided. How long the time and space are defined by the contents of the panel. Panels are an icon which holds in space and time. When panels disappear there is no telling how much time has passed. It gives the feeling of timelessness. One thing comics face problems with was motion where in the art of comics time stands still. The answer. . . Multiple images in sequence or streaking the action in which the character or objects is doing.
Time in comics has lead us to two subjects: Sound, and motion.
Sound: Word balloons and sound effects
Motion: Panel-to-panel closure
At the beginning of my readings I was interested in what Scott McCloud was saying but as the chapters continued to babble on I lost interest and didn’t really care. In my opinion he complicated things, when in reality what he was trying to explain was simple and clear.
All in all I did learn more about comics. I learned about closure, motion, time and space of comics. I never knew comics could be so complicated.
McCloud’s next chapter, “Time Frames”, covers how time plays a role in comics. It also briefly explains how sound has its own effect as well and how a panel “acts as a sort of general indicator that time or space is being divided”. The images contained in the panels, though, are considered more important in the defining of this time and space than the panels themselves.
The gutter is what sparked my attention the most in chapter three. I find it rather interesting how in the blanks between panels, we start to create a story of our own. Through this, I can only imagine how many different interpretations are formed. It’s like the example of the guy about to commit murder with the axe. In between the panels, we all visualize how the murder is committed. This image we develop in our heads consists of “who let it drop”, “how hard the blow”, “who screamed”, etc. The answers to these questions could be, and most likely are different from person to person. This concept truly awes me because of it’s relation to pure imagination – which indeed, we all possess.
In chapter four, I learned how I perceive time presented in a single panel. Instead of each panel representing a single moment in time, I found that every idea found in a panel represents a single moment in time. This interpretation is still a little underdeveloped, though. For example, on page 95, McCloud drew a panel in which a group of family members or friends are together in a single room, all holding a conversation continued from what the first character had stated. Uncle Henry told his nephew and the girl with him to smile. This itself, although only a portion of the panel, represented a single moment in time. Same thing with the girl laughing and so on and so forth.
Like Scott McCloud in Chapter One, I two was one of the many people who thought comics were a waste of time, and thought all had no important points or facts. So when I found out that comics do play a significant role in society, I changed my propective, and have had an open mind to anything I see. Comics are not just for laughs, many comics share an importance in this world. Whether its polictical, social, health, etc. its the truth many do not wish to hear.
However, I am still finding this stuff somewhat overloading or a bit much with these details he's quickly packing into our heads. After chapter number three, i find myself thinking, "Are there reeeally this many details involving something I view as basic sequential art telling me a story about what is happening before my eyes?" My immediate answer (now after reading) is, yes.
McCloud throughout these two chapters, explains to us about closure, "gutters", and "panel to panel" transitions. Very detailed, yet still, somewhat confusing. who would have thought those two words would ever be spoken in the same breath? In my opinion, these, i dunno, important enough to be published subjects.. are indeed interesting, but at the same time, extremely confusing. Especially since I have no prior comic book reading experience.
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.
Another thing that Scott McCloud talks about in Chapter Three is the fact that Comics have certain kinds of craft that they follow. There are six different types of craft that Comic writers can use when creating their panels. The first one is known as Moment-to-Moment which allows very little closure done by the reader because it is really second-by-second. The second one is Action-to-Action which features a “single subject in distinct progressions” of the next big action that will happen. The third craft is subject-to-subject and that means that the panel stays within “a scene or idea.” The reader must be very involved with this one in order to decide what happens in between the gutter to finish the story. The fourth craft that McCloud describes is known as scene-to-scene which “transports us across significant distances of time and space.” The fifth type of craft is aspect-to-aspect that “bypasses time and sets a wondering eye on different aspect of a place, idea, or mood.” The sixth and very last craft that McCloud talks about is Non-Sequitur, which really has no logic between any of the panels as all and isn’t meant to either. Each of these crafts present different ways in which a gutter can be used. Going from not having to use much imagination in between the panels to using a ton of imagination by the time the sixth craft is used.
Chapter four then deals with the time in a panel. McCloud says that “we all learned to perceive time spatially, for in the world of comics, time and space are one and the same.” Since a panel has no specific time we have a hard time deciding how long or short a conversation should be. So, Comic writers use the shape of the panel to help us decide how long or short a story/conversation takes place. The longer the panel shape is, the longer the time is and if the panel is short then the time seems to be shorter. Time can also be given a timeless space by allowing the panel to not really end except that it hits the end of the page. By the panel not have closer to it, time seems to just continue on and on. There is a panel the McCloud uses that shows a radio and song notes continuing off of the panel, but we can’t see them shows us that the music will continue to move on and on even if the panel doesn’t show it. Eventually time was shown on the actual panel by using lines that followed the icon in the picture. By using lines time was able to be shown in a whole different way. A car moving across the panel could be shown going very fast, by having the lines go all of the way around the car to have the car be the main focus. These lines allow time and motion to go hand in hand when creating a Comic.
Scott McCloud has done a very good job in explaining the gutter, time and motion in Comics to me. I really honestly don’t know much about comics and have not read them. By having these three factors explained to me I truly understand how much fun Comics can be. Time and motion are very important, but I believe that the gutter between the panels is more important because it allows the reader to be more involved in the story. I like to imagine how something is going to happen, rather than having someone else show me. These concepts make Comics have a life to them and a meaning to them as well. They become more than just pictures and words on a page.
When talking about the gaps or gutters as he calls them, in between panels he talks a little about time and what the writer or artist is trying to accomplish in doing so. Depending on the size of the gutter can make an impact on how long the artist wants to identify the timing in which the character is in that setting. It can also bring a little more drama to what the art is trying to portray.
In chapter 3 he brings up the 6 types of ways to show time in borders and gutters which are. Panel to Panel, Action to Action, Subject to Subject, Scene to Scene, Aspect to Aspect and Non-Sequitur. They all have a different way of telling a story and the time and sequence of the story. It never appealed to me that artists and writers would even think about any of this stuff when making a comic. It just seemed as if they told a story and made pictures for them.
It seems as if McCloud feels that there is a major importance in time when doing comics. I did not know that there were so many different ways in which you can create time zones or make pictures seem like they are in sequence of time. it was very interesting to hear him talk about time and how panels can be seen as past and future and how we recognize them as such.