31 January 2010

Understanding Comics Chapters 4 & 6

In chapter 4, Scott McCloud talks about time. He dedicates this chapter to time mostly because of the belief that all people believe that the frames in comics go from moment to moment when infact the timing in comics is more complex. He gives a great example of the complexity of time in comics on page 95. In the particular frame I am mentioning, There is a family in which there is a whole slew of things happening. From a photograph flash to a chess game, this frame allows readers to believe that this whole scene takes place in a single moment when in all reality it takes place in several moments. In this chapter McCloud also mentions the way that people read is lead on by the author. For most people, we read left to right and up and down. In some cultures, like Japan and other oriental places, people read from right to left and down and up. Then McCloud goes into detail on how time and space in comics are one and the same, and in doing so, McCloud gives an example of when a reader only gets a partial scene in small frames compared to the more complex larger frames with more items in them.

Chapter 6 was a little confusing to me. I understood when McCloud started out this chapter with a child explaining what he brought to show and tell at his school. He then goes to say that all of us as human beings started out using words and images interchangeably. Then from this, I got really confused and could not truly understand what the rest of this chapter was all about.


  1. Chapter 6 in my point of view was one of the most important chapters in this book, Only because he talks about words and pictures and we all know how important and interrelated those two are. One cannot be without the other one.

  2. I agree with you on the frame with the family, because when there are so many things happening in one frame that it will confuse people in the beginning.

  3. Good comments, Gents.

    Zach, your post is a little short. I would like you to go into more detail with your summaries. I can appreciate that some of McCloud's topics are a little complex, but really try and grapple with them more.