01 February 2010

Chapters 4 & 6

In chapter four Scott McCloud goes in to detail about time in and throughout comic panels. Looking at a single panel in a comic book one might think that everything happening in that picture is happening at that exact moment in time. Scott corrects that thought by introducing to us that the actions and sounds that go on in a picture happen in an orderly sequence. He illustrates this thought with a family gathering that takes place in a room. At first glance it looks like a single moment in time but is comprised of many sounds and actions that happen one after another that lasts for a half a minute. Scott refers this in simpler terms of, "one panel, operating as several panels" (McCloud, 97). Scott also describes how the borders of these panels are comic's most important icons, and how these indicate to us that time and space in the comic is being divided. These spaces can represent short or very long periods of time. Scott then says that whatever our eyes are fixed upon represents the present of that panel and everything else is either past or the future. Scott says, "But eyes, like storms, can change direction" (McCloud, 104). He describes this quote and says that our eyes are self told to read from left to right and up to down. At the end of the chapter Scott illustrates how motion throughout pictures is shown in different ways throughout different cultures. He again refers to Japanese comics and how they go into such great detail in their motion in the pictures. Again Scott says that time in comics leads our minds to sound or motion, and may appear complex or simple but it all depends how our minds percieve it.
Chapter six describes how words and pictures are incorporated into our printed reading. Scott says that these two concepts have a vast history. He goes back to early cave inscriptions and how ancient people used, "pictoral representation" (McCloud, 141). Some of these cave paintings contained pictures while others contained pictures acting as symbols like a primitive language. Over time these pictures and symbols evolved into written, visible words. For a time, pictures weren't seen with words until the 1400's with German comics. Scott says this could be because ritten words became more specific and more descriptive than picture symbols. He also says that throughout this time pictures became less symbolic and more representational. Scott brings up the picture plane triangle illustration and describes how pictures and words were in a way drifting seperate ways on opposite ends of the triangle. But at one point artists began to incorporate meaning into art while poets began making their writing more conveying, like pictures. Scott says that this caused the tow to drift toward one another in the picture plane triangle closer and closer "and headed for a collision" (McCloud, 147). Words and pictures come back together to create yet again storytelling. This is easiest seen today in comics. When you connect words and images, you create an endless list of ideas because of the vast combinations words and images can come together. Scott describes and illustrates many of these combinations with examples used in todays comics. In these, images and words are used in certain, various ways, each taking a turn in describing a specific idea or topic. This varies from comic to comic but again goes back to the same concept of how our mind percieves it. Scott says this is very similar to the earliest cave inscriptions centuries ago, "when to tell was to show, and to show was to tell" (McCloud, 161).


  1. Hay that's a realy good idea to cite when you quote the book I think I need to pay better attenchen to what I write so I can do that to. Also the tryangel thing. Dose it have a title or are that corners just labled? Just a question.

  2. This is very well written, Toni. But remember, no matter how much you might want to meet Scott McCloud, never refer to an author by only their first name. And where's your response?