31 January 2011

Imagination and Time! Chapters 3 & 4

In Scott McClouds book Understanding Comics he shows that it is possible to learn from comics and that they are not just for certain people. Comics can be used to get any point or story across. They can be for any age group! Scott McCloud accomplishes his goal of helping people understand comics through the use of comics. In chapter three and four he goes over how people use their imagination when reading comics, and how frames are used to help with the timing of the art that is used in comics.

Chapter three in Understanding Comics is all about the closure of comics. What I got from McClouds explanation of closure is that it is just like imagination. McCloud explains how closure is used to "produce suspense or challenge the reader" they want the reader to think one thing so that they can be surprised by the actual outcome. Closure comes in many forms, some of which may be simple or complex. Images such as black and white pictures can be turned into reality with the use of imagination. The mind can make a simple image come to life. The gutter of a comic it the blank space that is between two frames. It is where the person has time to see both images and make them become one. The panels of a comic are used to show time and space and closure is what allows someone to connect all the images and construct them into reality. There are six categories of transitions that are used in comics, they are moment-to-moment, action-to-action, subject-to-subject, scene-to-scene, aspect-to-aspect, and non-sequiter. The transition having to do with moment requires very little closure, action transitions have to do with progression, the progression of a certain action being performed. Subject transitions requires involvement from the reader and scene transitions which carry the reader on a journey through time and space. Aspect transitions go past time and make the reader imagine new things, and non-sequiter transitions are just something that is random and has no real meaning.

Chapter four is all about time. And how frames help to show the timing of the events being shown in a comic. Frames are the rectangular boxes that surround a certain scene in a comic. One large frame may contain many other smaller frames. In the frames are what actually get the points across they show whats going on and the frame is just like the time keeper. By having spaces in between the frames that can show how long something is going on. They can also prolong time by showing multiples of the same image. The shape of a panel can also make a difference in the time. Example is a smaller square box can represent a short time, where as a longer rectangular box shows a longer time, the time is more spread out. If the images in comics did not contain frames they could make things seem timeless. Another thing that does that is the images used they can have a timeless affect. The frames also help show motion or actions of the characters that are present in the comic.

In these chapters three and four we learned about all the timing and transitions that are present in comics to make them become realistic to any person that may be reading them. Without any time limit, comics would not be able to become realistic in ones imagination. They would not know when to stop the mind from adding on to the images that are put forth. Both these chapters have showed me how much work and thought that the writer must put in comics. How they must think things through and decide how to make time period long or short. Timing is something that is very important within the genre of comics. Frames and transitions help with timing.

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