01 February 2010

Chapter 4 & 6

In chapter four of "Understanding Comics," titled "Time Frames" McCloud explained how time is portrayed throughout comics. A figure or face occupies its own time slot when concerning comics. Then the text (words) represent time in comics by creating sound. McCloud even went so far to elaborate why a panel is "comics most important icon." According to McCloud not the action within the comic but the panel that holds the action is the indicator that time and space is being divided. But McCloud also goes on to make the point that time and space are one in the same when addressing comics, and that if elements are familiar to the reader when can make an educated guess of the duration of time. A panel's shape also makes a difference in our perception of time. "Timelessness" is another topic touched on through the reading of chapter four. McCloud believes timelessness scenes wonder through the reader's mind even though that might have move on from that particular panel; while setting the mood or sense of place. Still on the subject panels, a duration of a panel can be increased by the addition of word balloons and/or sound effects. Not leaving out pictures...a single panel with a picture can also represent time.

Chapter four was a very "easy (for lack of a better way)" to grasp than its predecessors. I found out many ways that time can be portrayed when reading a comic and the most common way is if its relative to it's reader. The reader can take an educated guess or the director can show the elements of time are continuing by physically drawing it. For example...the lines of motion is a way an author can get across that time is moving on. Chapter four wasn't all just gravy as a few pages I had got lost on especially page 105. Also page 108 pictures were not of "high art" I guess I would say. Even with that said I still think chapter four was a very understandable chapter...earning its privilege of being in the book it is in.

Chapter six entitled "Show and Tell" was very straight on. McCloud tried to get the point across words and pictures should go hand and hand especially when pertaining to comics. McCloud reminds that throughout our life span how we start off with books with a ton pictures, to books with some but not many pictures, to books with no pictures at all. Or just no books at all. McCloud also retraced his steps in previous chapters by telling and showing that the earliest of words were pictures. In chapter six we had another history lesson when McCloud took us back to the 1400s just to demonstrate how words and pictures were to stay separate even though they were being combined (ironic huh). We went down the two paths of art in chapter six. Learning that the written word was striving especially when the invention of printing came along. Not taking a backseat pictures were also continuing to grow but just in very different ways. The written word was abstract, elaborate, and specialized. While pictures were more representational and specific. Soon though did these two forces of art combine. McCloud discussed seven different types of combined picture and word combinations. The seven were word specific (largely complete text), picture specific (words add soundtrack to pictures), duo-specific (words and pictures send same message), additive (words elaborate on an image or vice versa), parallel (words and pictures go in two totally different directions), montage (words are essential part to picture), and interdependent (words and pictures go hand in hand). The most common of the seven is interdependent. McCloud seems to think pictures and words are at they best when taking turns leading and I have to agree with him.

Chapter six was another understandable chapter. I feel chapter six was a great chapter because every topic it discussed was attacked head on. McCloud didn't take the reader on a wild goose chase as in previous chapters. He explained the importance of why pictures need text and text need pictures especially when dealing with comics. McCloud made this chapter interesting and comprehensive by keeping his dialect simple. I really didn't get confuse with anything McCloud was saying. Thus I feel this is the best chapter in the book I have read so far. I hope the rest of the chapters are like chapter six.

1 comment:

  1. Nice post, Velle. I'm glad you really got into it!