02 February 2012
01 February 2012
I like McCloud's description of time in comics because he explains the different essences of time and space. We perceive time frames through shapes and sizes of panels. The different spacings between tell a different story. Even motion within panels is depicted differently. All of these things are picked up subconsciously but I fear I may have never noticed without McCloud's help.
31 January 2012
And here's a funny comic using the gutter for a purpose other than closure:
Questions? Quibbles? Controversies?
McCloud also made other great points by explaining the panels of comics. By labeling them off into categories the first one is moment-to-moment which not much happens from one scene to the next. The second category is action-to-action which one subject taking and doing a lot of different kinds of actions. Next is subject- to-subject is staying with one main idea and having meaningful transitions. Last but not least scene-to-scene which is transitions to another area from a greater distance from the first one.
After reading this i never realized how much meaning comics have and how involved a reader has to be to be able to expand their horizons on filling the gutters. It took me awhile to take the chapter all in so i went back and read it again to get a better understanding. McCloud is very knowledge able and every chapter I keep reading I am gaining more respect for comics.
30 January 2012
Next, transformations are introduced. Mcloud begins to talk about the different types of transitions which include, panel to panel, action to action, subject to subject, scene to scene, aspect to aspect, and non-sequitur. By transition, he explains how different each set of panels can be and how our minds adjust to each one and make sense of a set of panels that make no sense at all. Action to action is by far the most popular transitions used it comics. Mclouds main point in this chapter is to inform the reader how critical it is to understand closure while reading comics because without it, the reader would not be able to relate to what they are reading and identify the relation with the author. Imagination during the closure is huge!
Reading chapter three for the first time I did not really understand it so I had to go back and read it for a second time. In my opinion this chapter was probably the best yet. The reason being is I personally love mystery and things being left for me to figure out. This whole chapter was basked on closure and transition which allowed me to look at panels and add the mystery and transition in myself. Panels are not what they seem. Reading between the lines and going beyond what your eyes see is very important!
Another topic that Scott McCloud introduces in chapter 3 is closure. He states that there is a wide variety of closure. The variety of closure ranges from shapes, outlines to the change of time and motion. A prime example of closure is the space or gutters between the panels. They allow the reader to become a part of the comic. By becoming a part of the comic we are able to predict what will happen next. For example, let's just say that Spiderman was fighting the Green Goblin on a roof top. This fight is a combination of shooting web, kicks and punches. The Green Goblin forces Spiderman to the walk toward the edge and Spiderman is close to falling. But Spiderman shoots the Green Goblin in the face with his web, blinding him. Spiderman then punches the Green Goblin and performs a spinning jump kick. The Green Goblin is kicked off the roof top and Spiderman has defeated his enemy once again. You as the reader decided how hard the Green Goblin got kicked and where Spiderman kicked him.
The third topic that McCloud mentions in the chapter is the 6 categories of panels. The First category is the Panel to Panel which is also called the Moment to Moment. This type requires very little closure. The Second category is the Action to Action. This type of paneling is a series of action that is occurring through numerous panels. The example of this type is a picture of a baseball player getting ready to hit the ball. The next panel is when the baseball player is swing the bat and hits the ball. The Third category is the Subject to Subject. The main point of this paneling is to stay within the scene or idea that is currently being discussed. The Fourth category is the Scene to Scene. This panel is used to take the reader over a series of time, distance and space. The Fifth category is the Aspect to Aspect. This type of panel passes through time very easily and sets the mood about different places or ideas. The Sixth category is referred to as the Non-Sequitur panel. This panel has no relationships with the other panels. This chapter is definitely making comics sound more appealing. It is also adding more to my knowledge of comics.
Between panels is where we can find closure. Our mind wonders while reading panel to panel and allows us to connect each panel together with the last one that we saw to pretty much make a reality of the comic. According to McCloud, "Closure in comics fosters an intimacy surpassed only by the written word, a silent, secret contract between the creator and audience." I agree with McCloud because in order for there to be closure, a person must actually see, or know about something in order to understand and come to an understanding of the topic. Talking about this topic leads McCloud to explain how the creator honors art and craft. There are 6 panel transformations. Moment-to-moment (which requires little closure), action-to-action (shows progression), subject-to-subject (stays within a scene), scene-to-scene (transports us across distances of time and space), aspect-to-aspect (sets a wandering eye on the different aspects of the comic), and the non-sequitur which has no logical relationship between the panels.
Closure is very important when it comes to reading comics. It makes the reader become involved in the reading. While I read this chapter, it taught me a different way of looking at comics. Now that I understand the term "closure", it actually helps me to understand the meaning of what is being said in the comic. It helped me to read through chapter 4 thoroughly and swiftly.
All in all, my thoughts on the chapter are that I actually enjoyed reading the chapter. It wasn't too long or as long as I thought it would be. The most interesting thing to me in this chapter is the idea of closure and how we as readers really do take part in the comic. It was puzzling to me how well I connected with the assumption thought that we as readers know what a closed eyeball looks like drawn, because the reader assumes that we in general know what a closed eye looks like. I didn't really understand the differences of comics in the eastern and western regions, because I believe they are different styles from one another since the east and west have different cultures.
Things only exist because I exist. There is no way I can prove things are real beyond what I am sensing in that very moment.This point made by McCloud I found to be perplexing. When I was younger I don't doubt that I had similar thoughts, but now I realize how much faith every single person invests in this world. I cannot prove that my house in Colorado is standing right now, but I trust that it is. This idea relayed interestingly to how comics are read. I never considered how the gaps were apart of the story. The gutters allow the readers to become the authors, making comics interactive on a level I never really thought of. McCloud really hook, lined, and sinker-ed me on this one.
In conclusion, i think Scott Mccloud has many importanty views on chapter three and how his argruments view in his answer towards the end of the chapter. I quote on the importance of his views between east and west comics, "Traditional western art and literature dont wander much on the whole. We're a pretty Goal Oriented culture." Scott Mccloud Views on the east, " But, in the East. There's a rich traditions of cyclical and labyrinthine works of art." In the end I as reader agree on the author on the different authors view on catogories but I strongly disagree with him on the difference between East and West comics. I argument against Scott mccloud reasons on the subject of east versus west comics are different is the chronicals comics anthologies and description of catogories. The best example where there similar is the "The Dark Knight Series" which is an anthologies on Batman and how he came to be this iconic heroe.
When reading this chapter I started paying attention to what really closure meant. I re-read a few panels of the comic and my mind wandered. Closure is important when it comes to writing a comic just because it allows the reader to use their imagination and in some sort of way become the author of the unwritten parts of the comic. This chapter made me understands the comic world more clearly. It is not just a bunch of pictures with a few words, there is more in between the lines or in this case in between the panels.
Chapter four of McClouds book Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, he talks about the aspect of time in Comics. He uses the metaphor of a rope representing time. One inch on the rope represents one second in time. If you were to line the rope up with the text, and different panels of a comic, you could see that time passes through each one. Even one silent panel has some time taken up in it. In the example that he used, one large panel with different things happening in one panel, is basically several panels, combined into one. When we read, we read it from left to right just like a regular comic, and we assume that time is taken up. But, not all panels are like this, because panels can also be held in a single moment, and it does not have to hold any sound. The panels that hold the icons in comics, act as a divider to show that time or space is being divided.
McCloud continues on by talking about the difference between times depicted in comics and time perceived. A lot of times, we just assume what is going on in certain panels because of what we have done in our own lives. For example, McCloud uses a conversation between two men on page 100. During the three panel conversation, the second panel is a picture of one of the men silently sitting there, or in other words, pausing for several seconds. We assume that the pause is only a few seconds, because of how it is depicted. McCloud points out that there are several ways to shorten or lengthen the pause in the conversation. One way to lengthen it is to widen the space between the panels. Another is to make the panel with the pause, bigger so that it “feels” like a longer period of time. There are several other ways to show time in comics. For example, running a picture off the edge of the page lets the picture escape from the traditional panel and go off into space, making it seem like the picture is timeless, and is always going to be there.
The motion of comics really came about in the 1800’s. Thomas Edison came up with the first motion picture. The idea that motion could be portrayed in a single image, was first addressed by the futurists in Italy, and by Marcel Duchamp in France. He simplified movement in images. People soon lost interest in this idea and the motion line formed somewhere in that time span. The motion line started out a little confusing, but has evolved into a great representation to what the actual physical motion looks like.
I think this whole chapter is really interesting, because everything McCloud addresses, I honestly never thought about. The whole time I read comics through out my life, I just sort of knew these concepts without actually knowing that I knew them, if that makes any sense. For example, seeing that there is a pause in a comic, can easily be picked up through several different ways. Like a bigger space between two panels, or a panel with a character not saying anything during a conversation. I knew that these were pauses, but I never really though about how I knew it was.