24 January 2010

Understanding Comics

We were assigned to read Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art by Scott McCloud for our Freshman Composition 2 class. We were to read the Introduction and Chapter 1 and 2. I really liked the Introduction because McCloud is on the phone with his old pal, Matt Feazell. McCloud’s friend asks him what his next project is and then McCloud went into an elaborate detailed description of his next project. This caused his friend Feazell to ask him if he was “kind of young” to be doing something like this. It explained exactly what his text was about and gave an implication of what the usual reaction is to his choice of work. The first chapter is about the definition of a comic and what classifies as a comic. The author starts talking about what defines a comic. He excludes one picture comics so that it doesn’t bring in a lot of extra discussion. He makes it clear that a comic would be a sequence of two or more images. His exact definition is “Juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer.”(McCloud, page 9) he brings up the subject that everyone will always debate what defines a comic and why it’s important. There are also some parts where the history of comics comes from, up to where it was “invented” and used? Then he ends it with toasting to the great debate that comics will always be brought up in people’s discussions for years to come. In the second chapter the cartoon aspect is brought up and how it is kind of close to realistic images. There are some parts that he explains why he would rather use icons than symbols because symbols could represent so many things but an icon is usually drawn after the object itself so it’s simple. He also says things like we actually live through inanimate objects without even really realizing it like when you’re driving your car. Then he starts to list all these cartoonists and their experimentations with the “cartoon” image, he ends with the question of how long comics will be around. Scott McCloud did a really good job with this book; I got really interested while reading it. Although I broke the reading down so it took me about six hours to finish the whole reading. It’s easier to write this after reading the chapters/introduction. McCloud had done this text book in a very interesting way which is totally unique and I liked it, plus his “comic” drawings were good. That may just be me; however I think that it’s a good text no matter what.


  1. Holy cow, Candace! Could you have picked a smaller font ;-)

    Your post is pretty good, but your details seem reversed in terms of importance. That is, Ch. 2 is probably the most important part of your reading, but you provided the least amount of details for it. Also, you might want to break up your summaries and final response into separate paragraphs so we can follow a little more closely.

    Still, this is a good first post, and I'm glad you enjoyed/took your time with the reading. Well done!

  2. I agree a bigger font would have helped. Haha. But i agree with your view on this book Candace. This is a good book, though it contains some heavy detail, but the pictures help a lot out with his explanations. I didnt think comics could be broken down this much!

  3. I agree with your point of view on this book. I enjoyed reading this book and was very interesting. Although, it was long with details, but I think reading and then glancing at the pictures helped me understand. Good job tho, I couldn't have explained it any better.

  4. Good comments, guys. Just watch your spelling ;-)