03 February 2011
As I wrote a couple of days ago, despite a week of no class, I expect you to continue the work scheduled on our syllabus. Since today was going to be a work day in which I had asked you to bring your rough drafts, we're really not all that badly off. I still expect you to turn in rough drafts on Tuesday, and as it's a workshop day, I'd like you to bring in at least 3 copies.
I apologize if it seems unfair to hold to our essay schedule when we have not been able to meet to discuss it. But remember that it's only the rough draft that's due, and I don't plan on failing you if it isn't perfect, because it won't be. That's why we draft and revise. Also, if you really have dire concerns regarding your essay, you can always e-mail them to me. Lastly, as I explained in the first week of classes, falling behind before Spring Break means less time to work on the Research Project after Spring Break. And trust me, you will want all the time you can get for that!
So we will soldier on!
Questions? Quibbles? Controversies?
01 February 2011
McCloud breaks down closure into six categorizes. There is moment-to-moment, action-to-action, subject-to-subject, scene-to-scene, aspect-to-aspect, and non-sequitur. McCloud goes on to examine the two most used categories used in making comics. They are action-to-action and subject-to-subject. He also goes on to explain that comics from Japan use many of these categories.
Using these six categories of closure, a comic can tell a story in many different ways. The story can be in much detail, or have very simple detail. McCloud uses a very big panel to show a family in a room. There is a picture being taken, people on the sofa, and two gentlemen playing chess. McCloud explains that the panel is always read from left to right, and that time flows through this panel so it will make sense when you read it. Word bubbles are placed in left to right order in which the author wants you to read them in. Timing between panels can create a dramatic effect when needed. The two main concepts McCloud wants us to understand are timing and closure between panels.
Chapter 3 of Understanding Comics starts off with a young boy trying to determine the meaning of his daydream that he believed was about the world being a figment of his imagination put on for his benefit. Then McCloud goes on to introduce the term closure which takes us from moment to moment of a comic and how we are able to make different panels become one scene. McCloud he gives us an in-depth look at what the “gutter” is between panels. The gutter is basically the change in scene from one panel to the next. Its our mind working from one panel taking in the scene and developing it to the next scene. McCloud then goes on to elaborate on the six different types of transitions that panels can have: Moment-to-moment, action-to-action, subject-to-subject, scene-to-scene, aspect-to-aspect, and lastly non-sequential.
Chapter 4 of Understanding Comics is explaining how important time and space are between panels of comic books. The size of panels also plays an important role in how we view the amount of time in the scene. Larger panels may allow us to assume a longer amount of time the same goes for smaller panels and a shorter amount of time. Also a single panel in a comic does not only represent a moment but it can also be an entire scene. The size of the space between panels can increase the pause we get out of each scene or moment.
In my opinion McCloud did a very good job at explaining and helping me “understand” both closure and time frames in both these chapters. I really like how this entire book is in comic book style. I am able to grasp the simplicity of reading a comic in an educational manner and i really think thats great. McCloud makes things much easier to understand while giving us examples of everything he’s trying to teach. This book so far actually has me interested! However I really want to color this book.
31 January 2011
Chapter 3 and 4 in Scott McCloud’s book gives an in-depth look into the value of what comics do for the reader and their mental processes. Such as his idea of a day dream that the whole world was created for him and if he is not looking at it does it doesn't exist. Same if you are looking at a comic and you only see the top half of the cartoon and but you don’t see their legs you assume they are there even though they’re not. When we are kids the peek-a-boo trick is unknown to us because we are unable to commit to an act of faith. We can’t act on an act of faith because when we are so young because we can’t see it, hear it, smell it, taste it or touch it, we think it isn’t there. The idea of observenig parts of something and picturing the whole of something is the closure. Such as a panel of a guy in different walking positions even though we only see the positions our minds use closure to picture the man fully walking rather than just sections of him walking. This is why comics is closure because our minds have to work together to picture it.
In comics there are six different types of translations from panel to panel to help the act of closure. First being moment-to-moment needing very little help of closure cause it shows reaction right after in each panel. Second being action-to-action showing the first action to second action to tell a story and this is the most commonly used in America. Next is subject-to-subject such as a man about to kill someone then shows the sky with the scream written out. Fourth is scene-to-scene which is a significant distance of time and space such as he could not survive the crash then meanwhile in another place. Next as aspect-to-aspect such as you think of Christmas atomically thinks of Santa Clause. Last being non-sequential being everything is random but serves a purpose at the end. He shows how cultures differ in the aspects of writing comics such as Japan on a more moment state and use being about getting there. That’s why we all explore the less you put in a panel the more your reader can use their imagination.
A single panel can represent more than one moment in time such as a scene taking in order through that one panel cause time in a comic moves left to right. One thing that helps with the value of time going across a comic is the size of the panel can make time go longer or shorter. Or for another instance more space between the two panels can cause a greater pause. But if there is no boarder on the panel or runs of the page it goes into a timeless fashion depending on your on state of mind. Such as when your eye is on a panel it always remembers the past and sees the future because the eye is always changing direction. Most try to influence motion in the comic by the lines to represent motion or move it from panel to panel. But such as the single panel you can show motion from panel to panel on a single background.
Over these two chapters we have learned the use of motion in panels and the time that it takes to go over the panels. I believe that the use of the panels is the most important part about a comic because it is the one thing in a comic that controls everything. So in both of this chapters over all the examples it always leads back to the panels they are the wholly grail of comics.
Chapter four is all about time. In a comic strip time may appear short, but the action and reactions involved could be much longer. Using small or big panels in width helps time appear short or long. Also, with the help of motion lines time can be portrayed as short or long. The artist can use different techniques , but its up to the readers imagination to trully determine how we perceive time in an image. Chapter four was more interesting and less confusing than chapter three. I enjoyed reading it and understood more information.
The third chapter of "Understanding Comics" is called "Blood in the Gutter". This chapter explains what closure is and why it is important in comic books. McCloud explains closure to be a "phenomenon of observing the parts but perceiving the whole". This meaning that we only see a part of a picture but our common sense helps us to perceive the whole picture. He explains closure to be simple and complex because of the different types of showing the pictures. The pictures in the panel can be ranging form moment to moment to "non-squinter".
The fourth chapter of "Understanding Comics" is called "Time Frames". This chapter explains the importance of time and space in comic books. Each panel in a comic book is arranged so the reader can follow along and understand the concept being told. The space between the panels is called a gutter which helps the reader see time. The shape of a panel can also help the reader see time. For example, if the panel is long that can mean the duration of time from one panel to another is long. Also, the pictures in the comic can show time as well. For example, if the picture has "zip-ribbons" in it, this is showing movement in time. The "zip-ribbons" demonstrate that the action are being made is fast.
I think that Scott McCloud did an excellent job of explaining closure and time frames in chapter three and four. I believe that he would have not been able to explain the two topics without using a comic book. The comic book format definitely helped Scott McCloud achieve his purpose of informing his audience about the topics. He was able to illustrate his words though using word bubbles and pictures in the panels and examples which think was very effective.
So it looks like we very well may not have class on Tuesday. But this is not permission to skip should classes not be canceled. This is just a little reminder of that "Snow Day" policy we discussed last week. Should class be canceled on Tuesday (or any day) due to weather, you are still expected to post your responses onto our blog on time; after all, there's no reason for them to be late since they're due the day before class. You are also expected to keep up with the readings and assignments detailed in the syllabus.
So no slacking off!
What this means is that I still expect you to have read and posted your responses to Chapters 3 and 4 of Understanding Comics by Monday night. It also means, that I expect you to read the Intro., Chapter 3, and the "Entering Class Discussions" chapter in They Say / I Say for Thursday, along with bringing a copy of your Rhetorical Analysis.
Questions? Quibbles? Controversies?
UPDATE: In case you were wondering what this means, the campus will not open until 10am (instead of 8am, hence a 2-hour delay). So any class that begins before that (this means our class) is canceled...At least, that's what I think it means...Either way, see you all Thursday!