06 February 2010
I enjoyed reading Chapter 9 because it was kind of like a review of everything that Scott McCloud was talking about. He was trying to prove that comics are a form of art and he used logical reasoning to make his point clear. I liked how he used different metaphors in his book to get his point across.
I enjoyed reading the book about comics by Scott McCloud because it opened my mind rather than judging. When I first saw that we were going to have to read this book, I thought it was stupid and had to make sure I was in the right class. But after reading about the complexity of how comics are created and the definition changes from people to people. I enjoyed learning about the items that goes into making comics a success. I think this book helps people understand what is happening in the creation process and what McCloud’s definition of comics is. The creation of other people’s comics is either or a comic or not because it has to follow McCloud’s line of work. I just enjoyed reading a book that was different from what I usually read or what I’m comfortable with reading. This was a very interesting book and hopefully I will continue to expand my variety of reading different types of books in different genres.
February 6, 2010
Chapter nine is called “putting it all together”. McCloud talks about the medium in comics and how important it is. No matter how hard a human being tries to understand what another human being is feeling he or she will never be able to. Even if you explain to a person exactly how you feel and they understand, they still won’t be able to feel what you feel because your guy’s medium is different. McCloud says that nearly all problems in human history stem from the inability to communicate directly from mind to mind. Comics are one of the very few forms left for an individual voice to be heard. Chapter nine is basically about clearing your mind on everything you know about comics, and the best definition for it is the most expansive, which is sequential art. No one will ever understand comics fully because “today the possibilities for comics are, as they always have been, endless.”
After reading this book by Scott McCloud, I found out that he’s not trying to convince us that comics are art because with no doubt in my mind they are. He’s just trying to get comics moved up on the list of art. Scott thinks comics should be a higher form of art, but to me I personally don’t care because a form of art is a form of art. Why should you care if it’s high or low! That’s my opinion; I can see why someone who actually creates a piece of art is upset with it being at the bottom of the list. Especially creating a comic, after reading I found out that so much preparation and work goes into making a good comic. That would make me so angry to know that no matter how hard you worked on it, it’s just going to be at the bottom of the list.
If I was McCloud I’d probably be trying to do the same thing he is, but after reading his book I also found out that it doesn’t matter how hard you try to get comics moved up on the list, it’s not going to happen. Something like that has to happen on its own. Comics are really hard to understand or at least the good ones are, and I think that’s a reason why there not a higher form of art. In chapter nine Scott say’s “the wall of ignorance that prevents so many human being from seeing each other clearly can only be breached by communication.” Well I look at comics being that other human and I don’t see it clearly, I don’t understand it. If I did understand them then to me comics would be a higher form of art. I would probably read them a lot more because when I read a comic that I understand it’s really enjoyable. I think the ones who consider comics to be a higher form of art have good closer; therefore it’s easier for them to understand it. Mclouds book helped me understand comics a lot more than I did, because I didn’t know anything about them before. This book was really enjoyable, it wasn’t boring to me but it was confusing.
04 February 2010
Chapter 9 being the last chapter of the book is titled “Putting it all together”. Scott McCloud starts off by writing how unique each individual is. He writes how “no other human being can ever know what it is like to be you from the inside”, and that lack of understanding leads to all problems in the society. Similarly, comics do the same thing too. It follows a path from mind to hand to paper to eye and to mind. He writes that comics is one of the few forms of mass communication in which is individual voices still have a chance to be heard. He even writes out his fifteen years of experience trying to understand comics. He wants us to clear our minds of all the preconceived notions about comics; only starting with an empty page we can discover the range of possibilities of comics. Then, in a matter of fifteen pages he goes fast forward to everything he has written about in this book, from the definition by Rudolph Topffer to the history over three thousand years old, pictorial styles and everything. Finally he talks how same species (humans) differing geographically have different expressions, story-telling, collage, word-picture linkage, subjective motion and format about comics. He writes that comics provides tremendous amount of resources to all writers and artists to be heard every corner of the world without the fear of compromise. Also, he adds that comics offer a range of versatility with all the imagery of film and painting.
This chapter was just the zist of the whole book and what McCloud was talking about the whole time. He just rushes into everything as if to tell us that he was tired of writing this book.
Wow! This book was not as interesting as I thought it would be. Glad it was over. Beginning of the semester I was excited and was hoping that the teacher for this class would make us read “Real Comic Books”. I got even more excited he handed us comic books in the first day and that was it. No more comic books after that. We have been reading this book for a month now and finally it is over.
The whole book in general is boring to read, but when I read it, I started to understand why people don’t understand the significant of comics, but I also kind of understand what McCloud is coming from. He tries to bring a point across to people saying that comics are art and it has been like that for many of years and he doesn’t understand why people won’t accept the fact that comics are art because of the time and skill it takes to create a comic book.
03 February 2010
January 18, 2010
Who’s responsible for teaching morals?
As a child grows up, I think it should be the responsibility of both the parents and teachers to teach morals. That’s only fair to the child because if that child doesn’t have good parents or their young and dumb then where does he or she learn morals. That’s where teachers come in. I think teachers need to educate children about morals. Of course it’s too hard to teach a kid every moral because it’s too broad, but they need to at least be taught basics.
Morals are a very big and important part of a kid’s life. Usually the ones that didn’t learn morals end up being trouble makers or get locked up. Parents have to be role models for their children and in our generation that’s starting to change. For the last couple of decades everyone has grown up with a mother and a father figure, but with the way things are now days that’s changing for the kids. Majority of kids now days are growing up without that father figure couples are getting divorced, and kids spend up to seven or eight hours at school. So most children growing up in this generation are not learning the morals they need to learn, and since their spending so much time at school and their always with their teacher I think they should learn morals from their teachers. However parents are responsible for educating their children as well. I feel that there are morals you need to learn from your parents instead of your teacher, and when you do learn them I think they need to be reinforced by your teacher.
So when it comes to children growing up in this generation I think that both parents and school teachers are responsible for educating them on morals, but I also think that when it comes to reinforcing morals parents should always be the first ones to teach it, because as a kid your parents are pretty much always your role models. There all you know until you start getting older, so everything they are and everything they’ve become that’s what you want. You want to be just like you mom or dad. The reason you hear some kids saying that there mom or dad is not there role models is because growing up they didn’t have that figure in their life. My father was my role model growing up until I hit a certain age and I wanted to be a professional football player. Then from there my role model was a professional football player. I learned majority of my morals from my parents but I did learn a few from school. Of course it wasn’t the teachers’ responsibility to teach me them but she still did. Now days I think teachers should be responsible for educating their students with valuable morals because some kids are less fortunate when it comes to learning morals from their parents.
January 31, 2010
Chapter four was about time frames. Each panel shows a single moment in time. When you have a sequence of panels, in between the panels or the gutter your mind fills in the intervening moments. It sounds right but to Scott it’s not. He uses a rope as a metaphor to show that figures, faces, and words are matched in time, but if all the images are on the same line then time gets messed up and with the rope metaphor it’s easier to understand it.
The most important icon in comics is the panel which is overlooked just like human beings largest organ is their skin. His point of that is although panels don’t affect the meaning, they do affect the reading experience. As well as action, drama, and additional effects such as multiple images, and streaking effects.
Chapter six "show and tell". It starts off with a little boy name Tommy and he’s at school. He pulls out his robot for show and tell, and he can’t explain how it works but he shows them, and Scott say’s we all started out like this using words and images interchangeably, just as long as we grew out of it. McCloud says when were younger we read books filled with nothing but pictures because there easier to read and when you get older you move to books that have very few pictures and a lot more words. Then finally you read real books with no pictures in them. Early comics had no words and all pictures, and when words were associated with comics they stayed separate "refusing to mix like oil and water."
The part I understood best was when Scott used the rope as a metaphor for time in comics. He say’s "each inch represents a second." So he puts it through a short comic and each figure and face is matched in time. Which puts all the images on the same vertical line, and it tangles up time. So what I got out of that is each panel holds single a moment and a single moment is suppose to be read in a second, but the time gets tangled up because it takes the eye time to move across the scene.
Another part that I understood and was really interesting to me because it’s true is how panels are overlooked and there the most important icon in comics. Just like people don’t know that our skin is our biggest organ. Panels are so many different shapes and sizes and they affect the reading experience. On page 101, there are three different comics and each one tries to lengthen a pause. The first comic adds panels and of course it works, then the second comic makes the gutters wider which do nothing, and Scott wonders if there was another way to lengthen the pause. In the third comic he just stretches out the middle panel, and it works. I found that interesting because I never really thought about how to make a pause longer in images.
January 24, 2010
Chapter one, “setting the record straight”, starts off with a guy named Scott McCloud. Growing up he thought he knew what comics were, but he really had no idea. He thought they were bright, colorful magazines filled with bad art, stupid stories and guys in tights. He thinks he’s too old for them, that is until his friend convinces to give comics another try. So Scott does some research and comes up with a definition for comics. At first the definition starts as sequential art, then it goes to sequential visual art. Since that’s too broad, the characteristics of the definition help to develop a more specific definition, and after five tries Scott finally comes up with “juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence.” Scott studies different cultural comics and finds plenty of interesting things.
Chapter two, “the vocabulary of comics”, starts off with a pipe or so we think that’s what it is, but after six frames we find out that it’s really a printed copy of a drawing of a painting of a pipe. Then he starts talking about icons and what the word icon means to him. He uses the word “icon” to mean any image used to represent a person, place, thing or idea. Every icon on page twenty six is not what it really is!!! It shows a picture of a face and it’s so detailed that it can only be one person, then it loses detail to where it can be a few people, eventually it losing all the detail and it’s just a plain face to where it can be anyone in the world. Scott has a bunch of different shapes and with a simple addition of what looks like an eye; every shape looks like it’s a face. He said “we assign identities and emotions where none exist. Throughout chapter two Scott just describes how all the icons are not what they really are in the book.
So far after reading chapters one and two I have found the book to be really interesting. Scott McCloud has a really good sense of humor and makes it fun. The part that I found to be the funniest was on page twenty five when I read “do you hear what I’m telling you? If you do, have your ears checked, because no one said a word. I really enjoyed chapter two because everything that I read made me think about times that I can relate to, like assigning identities where they don’t exist. I also enjoyed the part where the detailed face lost so much detail that it went from knowing who the person is to the person being anyone in the world.
02 February 2010
First of all Scott McCloud in chapter four is talking about time frames in comics. He starts off by introducing one big panel and tries to explain to the reader what it is doing by asking if you think it is a single moment or not. McCloud try’s to tell the reader that just because it is a single panel does not mean it is a single moment. He explains that the single panel takes at least thirty seconds to read. So he goes on to show the reader what it would look like if it were broken up into multiple panels to make it look more like a comic in the readers eyes. He shows how some panels do depict a single moment by introducing sound that might make it true, but he explains that it is the panel itself that would make it true. In McClouds eyes the panel is the most over looked icon and is the most important part. He goes in to major detail saying it is like the human skin and holds everything together. The panel does not have any major meaning compared to the pictures or text but it does indicate general time and space is being divided. Panels come in many different shapes and sizes and affect the reader’s experience. So what McCloud is trying to get to across to the reader that panels effect what the reader perceives and gets out of the comic.
In chapter six McCloud is talking about show and tell. He starts off by showing this kid in class trying to explain to the class what his toy can do. The kid is using words and his toy to show what it could do. Even though the kid did not give a very good explanation to the class, the class understood what it could do. The reason McCloud starts off that way is to show that people from the past used pictures more as symbols rather then pictures because they had meaning for the people. But as time went on people started using fewer pictures and started becoming more abstract. Then after the invention of printing sound was the only then to represent what the word meant. Same as with paintings people started making them more realistic. It explains that pictures and writing started getting further apart from each other and they did not mix with each other. Pictures started more getting more abstract and writing started get more difficult such as the use of poems, but as time went on people started incorporating pictures and text with each other once again. McClouds main reason of the chapter is to prove that pictures and writing go with each other and makes it an easy way to appeal to the reader such a comic.
My opinion about chapter four is that it was confusing. Like with that first panel he explains that it is not all a single moment. I think it is a single moment because all of that can be happening at one time but then closure makes the words seem like it’s not a single moment then if you put it in to different panels it makes it as it was not a single moment. I don’t know pretty confusing. Over all I thought McCloud used this chapter just to take space up in the book because he talks about motion and time in the same chapter. Maybe he does think they are not too important to comic? Chapter six I thought was pretty interesting. I like how McCloud is trying to get to the readers how important it is to have text and pictures in everyday life. I like how he explains that pictures and writing just compliment each other and does not make it complicated such as society suggest.
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?
Intervals between pictures create the illusion of time. Sound in comics help introduce time. Also action and response demonstrate time. As comic readers, we see actions that occur in order of time but, different actions in one strip can happen at the same time in a plot. Panels are important in this chapter. Panels are important because they help indicate time and space. McCloud mentions that it is not hard to estimate the time between panels. A way to lengthen time in comics is to add more panels, widening the space of the panels and stretching the shape of the panels. Panels in comics can represent the past or present. During the late 1800s, people tried to capture things in motion. An example of that is the top picture on page 108 and 109. Each panel shows the runner running to jump and then landing. Motion lines in comics show movement, multiple images and streaking show motion.
Chapter six is about words and pictures. The beginning of the chapter explains how words and pictures are interchangeable. The interchange of words and images helps get the point across. Pictures are representations of words. Overtime text has dominated pictures. Word specific, picture specific, duo specific, additive, parallel, montage and interdependent are the different styles of panels. Word specific are “pictures that illustrate but don’t significantly add to a largely complete text”. Picture specific are words that “add a soundtrack to a visually told sequence”. Duo specific is that in a panel, both words and pictures have the same message. Additive panels “amplify or elaborate on an image or vice versa”. In parallel panels, “words and pictures seem to follow very different courses without intersecting”. Montage panels are when “words are treated as integral parts of the picture”. Interdependent describes “words and pictures that go hand in hand”. Comic artist can show only fragments of a scene which leads to abstraction or expression. By showing fragments, it can give emotional information or shift time.
I did not like the end of chapter six. I think it could have gone into better detail. I have a hard time understanding how “words lock in the meaning of a sequence. So far chapter four was the easiest chapter for me to understand. So I liked that one the best. I felt like it wasn’t a boring chapter and it was interesting.
01 February 2010
The second chapter, chapter six, goes into detail how in human society we separate images and words from one another. Thousands of years ago, pictures and words were the same thing. Some of the earliest words were in fact pictures. Over the years those words and languages have evolved and pictures have been erased from the human language. Both, words and pictures have grown in two different directions. Our written language became more complex and intangible. On the other hand pictures became more specific and less symbolic.
Although, McCloud makes a lot of good points in his argument that comics can be viewed as a higher art form, some may still question his argument. Comics will always be questioned whether they are more than just reading material for the undereducated. When I would first think about comics, the first think that comes to mind are the vibrant characters and story behind the pictures. I never thought that comics could be more complex. McCloud is starting to open my mind to the complexity that can be found in comics.
Although this reading took a lot longer than the reading before this on, I broke it down within a couple of hours and I took more interest in it. I liked it, not only the pictures, but the simple way McCloud explained things. He seems to be doing a good job in explaining time and the use of words with pictures in both chapters but he also provides evidence to back up his point.
McCloud simplifies the duration of a comic and how un-instantaneous they are. he briefly discusses frames or panels, how they are iconic and "have no fixed or absolute meaning." Thus panels merely "act as a sort of general indicator that time or space is being divided." McCloud makes the reader realize that words are time, pictures are time, and sound is time. He explains time and space as a whole and how they are widely related. So as we overlook time and the relationship between comics; as readers we must guess as to the length or duration of a sequence of panels. The author then goes on to explore and study how the shape of a panel can interfere with our perception on time. The shape and size of panels are profoundly varied. The longer the panel the greater the length and the shorter the panel the greater the length, speaking in terms of time. As readers and viewers our participation is needed and asked for; in the subject of the way or direction that we read a comic whether we follow from right to left, left to right or up or down. Moving images is then brought up and is said that it was not until the mid 1800's that specific motions were portrayed in comics. The chapter is then concluded with a variety of sequences depicting motion and how sound and motion are time.
Chapter 6 begins with, how as children we used words and images interchangeably and how comics use a similar strategy by combining images with words and how useful that is to direct a story. McCloud begins explaining how books with pictures eventually become books without pictures with the progression of time. He states how pictures were once the prominent factor, by showing a 15,000 year old cave painting from the golden age and how pictures existed and meant far more then the written word. Pictures, symbols, and icons acted as a language and represented words in a sense. By the early 1800's pictures and writing drifted extremely far apart. though that was all changed when a fellow by the name of Rodolphie Topffer collided the two forms forms and made history! McCloud then thoroughly examines how an astronomical amount of human experiences can be brought to ones attention in either words or pictures, due to that fact comics have been categorized with the art of storytelling. He then goes over the different ways in which both words and pictures can be combined and how they are balanced and measured.
i think both chapters were well written, informative and easy to comprehend. McClouds explanation of the mixture of words and pictures was great. In my opinion pictures are need as well as words to tell a story. Not just one or the other. You gain much more by having both images and words in a sequence. Time is also an important factor when really realizing it, the duration of comics is brought to our attention and through that we notice how comics can be shortened or lengthened by a single word sound or picture.
Chapter four was a very "easy (for lack of a better way)" to grasp than its predecessors. I found out many ways that time can be portrayed when reading a comic and the most common way is if its relative to it's reader. The reader can take an educated guess or the director can show the elements of time are continuing by physically drawing it. For example...the lines of motion is a way an author can get across that time is moving on. Chapter four wasn't all just gravy as a few pages I had got lost on especially page 105. Also page 108 pictures were not of "high art" I guess I would say. Even with that said I still think chapter four was a very understandable chapter...earning its privilege of being in the book it is in.
Chapter six entitled "Show and Tell" was very straight on. McCloud tried to get the point across words and pictures should go hand and hand especially when pertaining to comics. McCloud reminds that throughout our life span how we start off with books with a ton pictures, to books with some but not many pictures, to books with no pictures at all. Or just no books at all. McCloud also retraced his steps in previous chapters by telling and showing that the earliest of words were pictures. In chapter six we had another history lesson when McCloud took us back to the 1400s just to demonstrate how words and pictures were to stay separate even though they were being combined (ironic huh). We went down the two paths of art in chapter six. Learning that the written word was striving especially when the invention of printing came along. Not taking a backseat pictures were also continuing to grow but just in very different ways. The written word was abstract, elaborate, and specialized. While pictures were more representational and specific. Soon though did these two forces of art combine. McCloud discussed seven different types of combined picture and word combinations. The seven were word specific (largely complete text), picture specific (words add soundtrack to pictures), duo-specific (words and pictures send same message), additive (words elaborate on an image or vice versa), parallel (words and pictures go in two totally different directions), montage (words are essential part to picture), and interdependent (words and pictures go hand in hand). The most common of the seven is interdependent. McCloud seems to think pictures and words are at they best when taking turns leading and I have to agree with him.
Chapter six was another understandable chapter. I feel chapter six was a great chapter because every topic it discussed was attacked head on. McCloud didn't take the reader on a wild goose chase as in previous chapters. He explained the importance of why pictures need text and text need pictures especially when dealing with comics. McCloud made this chapter interesting and comprehensive by keeping his dialect simple. I really didn't get confuse with anything McCloud was saying. Thus I feel this is the best chapter in the book I have read so far. I hope the rest of the chapters are like chapter six.
Chapter 6 is “Show and Tell”, the author goes into a deeper detail of the relationship between drawings and literature and shows how much we try to separate pictures from words but the earliest words were stylized pictures. He shows how some written languages that survives to this day with traces of their ancient pictorial heritage. In a German comic from the 1400’s words and pictures stayed separate refusing to mix them. The author explains that the written word became more specialized, abstract or symbolic, more representational and specific. He tells readers that many comic creators’ still measure art and writing by different standards and act on the faith that great art and great writing will combine harmoniously by virtue of quality alone.
I like the way he explained everything in chapter 4 because you would read a comic as if things were all happing at once and he real gives good examples and details to break down what he was really trying to say. As for chapter 6, I didn’t really understand him that much; he was losing me in some spots he made some good points I guess I will understand it more after class tomorrow.
Chapter four of Understanding Comics is all about time in the comic frames. Scott McCloud make the case that time in comics is less stringent. A single panel in a comic book is not nessisaraly a single moment. The panel it’s self is a symbol to tell the reader that time and space is being divided. Time and space in comics are linked but there is no way of telling how much time has passed except by figuring space and time are related. So if a panel takes up a lot of room or there are several panels or larger gutter spaces, those are clues the writer uses to show the reader time has passed or is passing. The panel helps to give us an idea of time. So if the writer messes with the panel, it can give a different feeling. The feeling can set the mood for the rest of the panel and time can be made to stand still in these situations. McCloud goes on to explain that we always consider that what we are seeing is the present. In comics, the panels you already read and the panels you will read are the past and the future and surround the present panel that you are reading now. In comics the reader will normally read left to right, but there is a possibility that readers could choose a different way. Your participation is needed as well in closure, the idea that the mind fills in the moments not drawn. The film was the first patented process to capture movement. Painters around the same time tried to capture movement in a single picture. Though the movement died out comics kept trying to capture movement. Some single panels represent time by sound. Others strove to show time pass through movement. Movement in single panels used the motion line. This line evolved from being messy and wild lines attempting to follow every object moving through space and became more stylized to where the capture movement in a more dynamic way. The action line in America had much more experimentation, though not all in comics. In Japan they’d put the reader in the middle of the action. The action line isn’t the only way to show movement. There is the polyptych, where a figure or figures are imposed over a continuous background. The comics rules of composition are covered in this chapter. In comics the picture combines change, drama, and memory. The rules comics should follow are those of nature itself, then rules of function and chance. To show time in a comic, either sound or motion is used. Sound breaks down into words or sound effects. These give the allusion of time because past experiences tell us that sound takes time. This also lends itself to the action and reaction introduced in this chapter. Motion breaks down as well into two subsets. One is panel to panel closure that is dealt with in chapter 3. Second is action within a panel that is separated by styles. While looking normal, time in comics is a strange thing. Making a series of stationary pictures look like they are moving and appearing to take time, that is strange. It sounds difficult, but to the reader it looks normal.
Chapter 6 of “Understanding Comics” is called show and tell. This chapter’s purpose is to prove that the uniting of pictures and words can be just as great a work as novels and paintings are separately. Society has trained us that the mixture of words and pictures is primitive. Scott McCloud reintroduces the triangle of resemblance/reality, meaning/language and the picture plane in this chapter. First a run through of the origin of words, which is pictures. The invention of the printing press and the original mix of pictures and text, then moves to the separation of pictures and words. Pictures strove to represent visual reality, while words were used to express the invisible feelings and philosophies. McCloud graphs this in the triangle with pictures at one corner and words in the other. Pictures reached for the picture plane going in every direction except toward language. Words started to become more direct and less flowery, but with the same distinction towards meaning. Pictures and words were that they went as far as they could go and needed to go back home, that was the feeling of the day. In the early 1800’s Rodolphe Topffer started making pictures with words, making him father of modern comics. Though he was unaware of what was going on, still is interesting that the modern comic emerged at that time.
Though comics have been around since cave paintings, they still face the challenge that both high art and general public will present it with. Comics will be judged by the old standards of art and literature. The public is bombarded by images and text so much that it has started to set its own standards of what they consider art and literature. The challenge from the public, that considers art and literature to be at its best when as separate as possible, grows out of the challenge set by art and literature. These challenges are nothing that every new media has had to face. Though comics are old they will still be treated as something new and tested by high art standards and the challenges of the public.
There are many ways pictures and words can combine to tell a story, in this chapter categorizes a few. The word specific, here the pictures do not add much to what the words are saying. Picture specific, words only add sound tract to a visual story. Duo-specific, both words and pictures say the same thing. Additive, where words elaborate the pictures or pictures elaborate on the words. Parallel, words and pictures tell two different stories and do not intersect. Montage, words become part of the picture in the comic. Inter-dependent, pictures and words work together to tell a story that neither could do alone. In order for comics to meet and match the challenges of art and literature both sides of comics must know their roles and support each other’s strengths. What are the words roles and what are the pictures roles? That is left up to the creator of the comic.
Chapter six describes how words and pictures are incorporated into our printed reading. Scott says that these two concepts have a vast history. He goes back to early cave inscriptions and how ancient people used, "pictoral representation" (McCloud, 141). Some of these cave paintings contained pictures while others contained pictures acting as symbols like a primitive language. Over time these pictures and symbols evolved into written, visible words. For a time, pictures weren't seen with words until the 1400's with German comics. Scott says this could be because ritten words became more specific and more descriptive than picture symbols. He also says that throughout this time pictures became less symbolic and more representational. Scott brings up the picture plane triangle illustration and describes how pictures and words were in a way drifting seperate ways on opposite ends of the triangle. But at one point artists began to incorporate meaning into art while poets began making their writing more conveying, like pictures. Scott says that this caused the tow to drift toward one another in the picture plane triangle closer and closer "and headed for a collision" (McCloud, 147). Words and pictures come back together to create yet again storytelling. This is easiest seen today in comics. When you connect words and images, you create an endless list of ideas because of the vast combinations words and images can come together. Scott describes and illustrates many of these combinations with examples used in todays comics. In these, images and words are used in certain, various ways, each taking a turn in describing a specific idea or topic. This varies from comic to comic but again goes back to the same concept of how our mind percieves it. Scott says this is very similar to the earliest cave inscriptions centuries ago, "when to tell was to show, and to show was to tell" (McCloud, 161).
31 January 2010
In chapter 6 McCloud says its ok for children to combine words and images as long as if they grow out of it. I fell that if an adult can combine pictures and images and make sense of what they are trying to prove that it doesn't matter what they do to come across a point
In chapter two Scott starts by showing several images that he says displays emotion. This entire chapter is stationed around the several ways an image can produce feeling using icons. Scott also shows how words can help create that effect. With images Scott believes using thicker lines may emit anger or fear out from the reader. Several other icons may have the same effect such as a water bead streaming down the face of a character shows emotions of fear or nervousness. Not to mention the backgrounds or even the set up of a panel. In the same way iconic words such as “BAM” may release emotions of excitement.
The last chapter assigned had gone into a deeper detail of the relationship between drawings and literature. In this chapter Mr. McCloud show how the world was reliant on icons and images to document and write. Than the images were more abstract. Then became more realistic, and then back to abstract. Finally the stage we are in witch is writing that have a certain sound to them. In the last part of the chapter Scott show the way the word and images fit together and how moving them around can cause a scene to change entirely. He then shows a story of a girl going into the rain to get ice cream and then enjoying it at her home. Scott shows how words can tell the story better or even change it completely.
These chapters have set up a new train of thought for me when I read comics in the future. Now I know what my role as a reader should be for me to get the ultimate meaning on each issue. I have learned why authors have chosen to skip from scene to scene when they write. I liked these chapters equally but I think they were a little bit too hard to understand. I feel that these chapters would be a lot more interesting if the ideas were put in more of a lemans terms. All in all these three chapters were interesting and fun to read.
In chapter 6, Scott McCloud writes about words and pictures. He writes that art and literature are better off together. And whenever you see them together it is during commercialism. He writes how pictures and words didn't go together before and we clearly can see that in the German Comic from 1400s. Later on, he writes how words and pictures combined in comics. He distinctly categorizes the ways pictures and words go hand-in-hand in comics. When Scott writes that words and pictures are like partners in a dance and each one takes turns leading, it could not have been said in any better words. It is absolutely true, if a comic book just had pictures then it would not have been anything less but a drawing book and same goes for a book with just words.
I am getting a feeling that Scott McCloud is a weird dude. I would like to meet him. I googled up his name and saw his photograph, that dude looks like Bill Gates. He sure has brains like Bill Gates but in a different field i.e. comics.
Chapter 6 was a little confusing to me. I understood when McCloud started out this chapter with a child explaining what he brought to show and tell at his school. He then goes to say that all of us as human beings started out using words and images interchangeably. Then from this, I got really confused and could not truly understand what the rest of this chapter was all about.