07 June 2009

Icons and Closure

In chapter 2 of Understanding Comics written by Scott McCloud, he describes the icons as " any image used to represent a person, place,places, things or idea." He is skeptical about using the word "symbol" because is is a broad term when describing and clarifying comics. He shows the reader how abstract comics can be. He starts off with a photograph and clarifies that is not a pipe that in reality it is a picture of a pipe. He writes that our minds are trained to find simplicity of pictures and create our own meanings of the pictures. He also brings to mind that we call images pictures because of there resemblance to their subjects.
When McCloud begins to clarify the art of comics from the Americas, Japan and Europe the distinction becomes more intense. The masking effect is visual when looking at the panels. I enjoyed this part of the chapter most because I could see the distinction of different areas where comics are created. I also enjoyed how McCloud has an entire page of icons. The icons and there captions really lead me to open my eyes and realize that I take pictures literally and not symbolically.
According to McCloud, if an artist wants to portray the beauty and complexity of the physical world, realism of some sort is going to play a part. I see how misconception of comics and the underlying can create people to over look them. If you really read between the lines and text and look for the true meaning and not necessarily the realism of the art the comic becomes more interesting. I know that when ever I see comics, I am more interested when there is realism. When I see the more cartoony comics i over look them because I feel they are geared toward a younger audience. I now understand that realism is just making the panel more complex.
In chapter 3 of Understanding Comics, McCloud elaborates on the six styles of comics. The first style described is the panel-to-panel that is often referred to as the moment-to-moment that requires little closure. The second is action-to-action that shows progression, the icon show how a baseball player is swing and then gets a hit. Then is the subject-to-subject, that involves the reader to render these transitions, the picture of the runner who finishes the race and the stop watch leads the reader to interpret the runners time. Then there is the scene-to-scene that takes place over time and space, McCloud shows us a panel a man looking for someone and then shows a house with caption of ten years later. Then there is aspect-to-aspect, that sets a wondering eye on different aspects of a place, idea, or mood, for example McCloud has a Christmas tree and then a panel with Santa Claus in the snow making the reader believe that because it is Christmas its snowing. Finally the sixth style is the non-sequitur that offers no logical relationship between the panels.
For me the break done of how panel are related or not related helped with the reading of closure and the importance of actually understanding all six styles. I would have never know that there were so many styles to creating/interpreting comics had McCloud not written about them. Like most things closure is an important aspect in everyday life and in comics. I feel that this chapter was more understanding than chapter 2.

1 comment:

  1. Caroline, your summary seems to jump around a bit but then focus on odd sections of the chapters. But after reading your comment on Crystal's blog, I see that you already noticed that yourself :-) Well done. That means you're already looking at your own work critically, which will only help you as the semester wears on!