31 August 2009

Time and Imagination

In chapter three of understanding comics Scott McCloud discusses how all of us perceive the world through the experiences of our senses and that our perception of “Reality” is an act of Faith, based on the mere fragments. This Phenomenon of observing the parts but perceiving the whole is called closure. Scott McCloud also goes over the term “gutter” which is the space between panels in a comic.

I thought that chapter three was a little interesting. I learned that closure is pretty much how we as readers put the panels together in order to form a story. McCloud gives us the six different types of panel to panel transitions. The first transition is called moment to moment which require very little disclosure. The second is action to action, which describes transitions depicting a single subject in distinct action sequences. The third transition is subject to subject, in which the subject changes from one panel to the next, which makes a degree of reader involvement necessary to actually understand the transitions. The fourth is scene to scene transitions, which are used to often transport the reader across significant distances of time and space. The fifth transition is the aspect to aspect transition, which bypasses time and for the most part and sets a wandering eye on different aspects of a place, idea or mood. The last of the six transitions is called non-sequitur, which offers no logical relationship between panels whatsoever. I thought that these six different types of transitions were very interesting. I never really looked at comics to the point where there are different types of ways to go from panel to panel. I thought comics were just supposed to be simple as, the moment to moment transition, to where all readers know what is going on. I never realized how much of our imagination we use when we read comics.

Chapter four was basically about time frames. McCloud explains how the panel itself is so important in the passage of time. McCloud believes that the panel is often overlooked. The Panels indicate the division of time and space in comics. Sometimes comic writers make a panel horizontal in order to imply the passage of time. By changing the shape of the panels readers are persuaded that more time has passed. McCloud also brings up that having no borders around your panels can cause a timeless feel. McCloud says that such a panel may linger in the reader’s minds, and its presence may be felt in the panels which follow it. I never realized how important little things like the size of the panels or having no borders can be important in comics. These types of things can help set the mood and place of the comic.
Overall I thought that chapter three and four were way more entertaining than chapter two. These chapters were way easier to understand. After reading the first four chapters I’m really starting to learn more about comics and understand more. I’m starting to realize how comics have so many different thoughts and ideas that are put into them.


  1. I put the same thing...I've never realized how much of our imagination we use when reading a comic or how complicated they are. Is any of this making your head hurt?

  2. I hope your heads don't hurt already! We haven't even gotten to the hard stuff yet ;-)

    Kahoku, you write well, which is why it's so painful to see your post marred with grammar errors ;-)

    Lastly, I really want you all to expand on your personal thoughts. They don't have to only focus on the reading. For example, how is closure used in your favorite movies, TV shows, video games, etc.?

  3. haha MARRED WITH GRAMMER ERRORS...thats funny...I thought I was bad...I guess you were worse hoku...haha...sucker...

  4. DANG!!! She told you what's up ;-)