25 August 2009

Understanding the Juxtaposed Pictorial!!

Comics have always been seen as a joke and have never really been seen as an educational tool. Scott McCloud, the author of the book Understanding Comics defines comics as being a "Juxtaposed (side-by-side) pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer." This definition means that a comic needs to be a series of pictures that are side by side that can or cannot have writing on the picture. The comics are supposed to convey certain information that allowes the reader to have some kind of response to the story. Scott McCloud was one of those people who thought that comics were a joke and only for those nerds who were noneducated, he didn't think that they had any kind of a story line or a rhymn or reason to any of the pictures. As time went by Scott McCloud learned to love Comics and learned that they really do have a history and do have an educational purpose. Scott McCloud is pretty sure that Comics began in the 1500's with the epic story of the 8-deer "Tiger's-Claw." This manuscript allowed historians to view what happened in the story by the sequence of events that were drawn, like the juxtaposed describes. The next collection of comics that was studied was the Bayeux Tapestry. This tapestry was not technically considered an actual comic, but Scott McCloud decided that modern artists should look at this tapestry to be able to learn the possibilities of doing a full page composition in their art.
There have been artists in the past who have done comics but who have not fully grasped the full potential that their art could have had. Rodolphe Topffer is one of those artists who didn't fully understand where his comics could have gone, had he seen the full potential he could have reached. A man by the name of Goethe came to the conclusion that "if for the future, he [Topffer] would choose a less frivolous subject and restrict himself a little, he would produce things beyond all conception." After Topffer's descoveries the British kept the caricatures alive in their magazines and by the 20th century the comics that we know began to appear. After that the printing press came about and made comics a better known art and more readily available to the public. Comics were then used for car owner's manuals, stained glass windows, and communication tools. Scott McCloud that at this point in time, comics, by his definition rule out no materials or tools that can be used when creating comics. Scott McCloud said that "our attemps to define comics are an on-going process which won't end anything soon."
The definition of comics is not set in stone and is an ever changing process. I am also one of those people like Scott McCloud who believed that comics were nothing but a waste of my time and effort to even read. Because of Scott McClouds definition that he came up with, comics have a new definition for me. I realized that comics really do have a rhymn and a reason to the way that they are put together. I never realized that comics have been around for so long and that even ancient Egyptian writings were considered a comic. I know that I am more educated in the study of comics and am actually kind of interested to find out where comics began and how to fully understand what comics are trying to get across. Scott McCloud has made my viewpoint of comics better and I feel as though I understand them a little bit better.

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