In chapter four of Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, McCloud explains “time frames.” He begins by informing his readers that each panel of a comic displays a particular point in time. McCloud enlightens his audience that pictures, intervals and words all generate the impression of time; each single image, word or gap has their own single moment. McCloud also notifies that not all panels are the same, even a panel without words is still a time frame “single image, single moment.” The diverse shapes and sizes known as panels that outlines all the images and words (icons) that creates a comic is ignored as comics’ most significant icon. McCloud expresses that the icons designated as a panel or frame, has no established or complete meaning; these icons are a representation as a common guide that time or space is being separated. The length of a comic is up to the artist; the creator can include more panels, compose a longer panel or vice versa. McCloud also goes into past, present and future; he explains that any frame previous to the one your looking at is past, the following frames are future and the frame that is the center of your attention is the present. He expresses that it is possible to have the past and future surround us in comics unlike any other form of media. Just as time and space are connected, time and motion are also corresponding.
In Chapter six McCloud discusses “show and tell,” he initiates that children combine words and images because it is easier to comprehend a narrative when images and words that are similar get together. Long-established thoughts are that considerable art and literature are only probable if kept at distance, but McCloud attempts to validate otherwise. He demonstrates that as children our books were filled with pictures and not many words, then as we grow we are anticipated to read books with a lot more written work and not so much pictures and eventually to succeed at “real books” with no pictures what so ever. Words and pictures are forced to bend over backwards to display their potential. Early words were stylized pictures but it didn’t take long for prehistoric writing to become more conceptual. Words moved forward immensely with printing, the written word was becoming less like pictures. Contrary, pictures began to expand they became more representational and detailed. Art and writing had wandered far separately; art was fixated with color, light and all objects visible and in complete opposition, writing became satisfied with the invisible, emotions, senses spirituality etc. but brilliantly Rodolphe Topffer reunited them. Unluckily comics are still practically puzzling. Comics have been around for many centuries but are recognized as a new development and they are misinterpreted. As a conclusion of writing and pictures combined, comics have been distinguished with the ability of storytelling.
Reading chapters four and six gave me a lot of information on the importance that time, words and pictures have in creating and reading comics. I am extremely fond of the past, present and future perspective in comics because the future surrounds our present, we can visually examine the next part of the comic before we even get to read it! Having both words and images tell a story is absolute; they work together to give you insight, to help you relate or even just understand the anecdote. What could be better?