09 February 2011

Masters Of Art And Literature

Chapter six of Scott McCloud’s book Understanding Comics the Invisible Art is a debate of the use of words and text together in the use of telling a story or the use of both words and pictures in every aspect of art and lecture. Such as McCloud’s first example of when we are kids the use of little words and examples of pictures like kids in show and tell trying to describe what they brought while trying to show it off. But through our lives we are expected to grow out of it onto more complex text and books with pictures to books with no pictures. That’s why that most people believe only great works of arts and literature are only great when words and pictures are keep separate.

The start of our communication began 15,000 years ago with the cave paintings that were detailed but more symbolic than anything. This influence kept its traditions through the years with the Egyptians and the Mynas but was taken away from tradition and more expectations of words not pictures more implicated when printing began. As art and words became more separate art became more symbolic and representative in later years. In the years of the 1800 the combination of the use of words began to be combined again to start a whole new use of the two. With the two combining comics became well known to people and the creators of the comics thought great art and great writing will combine harmoniously by virtue of quality alone. Such uses like word specific where pictures illustrate, but don’t significantly add to a largely complete text. Another is picture specific combinations where words do little more than add a soundtrack to a visually told sequence. And of course duo-specific panels in which both words and pictures send essentially the same message just to name a few styles that are used to manipulate the two. But when you find the right combination the way they are expressed together are great works of art. Although how the two are used are really up to the author of the selection and that is what really makes or breaks a comic strip.

My opinion the use of words and pictures together is a great way of showing and explaining a story or situation because you need the image in your head of what you are reading so you can understand it along with the text to tell what is happening so the selection will last longer in your mind. So in Scott McCloud’s ides in this chapter really influences me and makes me believe that what he is saying is true. So tell me and show me.


  1. Great summary and extremely descriptive. Using an example of the child was good. I also cannot agree with you more; sometimes we do need a mental picture in our heads to understand a text. I enjoyed your blog.

  2. I agree with Tiar; this is a good summary!

    You still have the run-ons and fragments to deal with though. We're gonna make that a priority this semester, beef; they're the only things hold your writing back ;-)