Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud chapters one, and two were the assigned readings. The intro began with the novelist speaking to his pal Matt Feazell, McCloud started with a response to what his new project was going to entitle, his answer in comic form was "an examination of the art-form of comics."
Chapter one then begins with how McCloud read comics as a kid but soon outgrew them, and thought of them as "bright, colorful magazines filled with bad art, stupid stories and guys in tights." then as time progressed a friend of his introduced him to comics through a different perspective. He must have shed light, and changed Scotts mind to what comics were and are. Young Scott began reading and found comics to be something so spectacular, almost immediately he was hooked. He became so tightly attached and fascinated with comics that he started to practice them independently, and illustrating his own ideas. The question, what is comics? Then arises, Will Eisner who is a master in the comic art form describes comics as sequential art. As the reading progresses a broader definition for what comics are is found, juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence is the new, more sophisticated definition. The author then goes into detail about the history of comics and how they evolved into being read from left to right. Comics have been around for centuries and most openly admit to not knowing when the first comic originated. Some argue that Trajan's column, Greek painting and Japanese scrolls are the beholders to the beginning of comics. As you read on you notice how much comics are widely looked down on and dramatically frowned upon, though for a second comics are finally being recognized and upheld as great communication tools, only to be slapped down and called diagrams NOT comics. Chapter one is then concluded by declaring that comics do not single out a particular color, shape, size, type or genre. Chapter two starts of with a variety of icons which means any image used to represent a person, place, thing or idea. Icons are used to represent concepts, ideas, and philosophies. "in the non-pictorial icons, meaning is fixed and absolute." in pictures the meaning is "fluid and variable according to appearance." Scott goes on by taking a real life image of a human face, and sawing it down to a cartoon, he then wonders why we still recognize this as a human face. He then points out the styles that are used today which are purely iconic or realistic or a mixture of the two.
I now have a greater understanding of comics and how difficult they can be to interpret, and how much time and effort is spent to create them. I now have broader knowledge, and a brighter perspective on the over all topic of comics. From the creation, to the sequence, to the mediums being used, to the genres being portrayed and to the icons being applied.