10 February 2011

Showing is Telling....Sometimes words need pictures!!!!

“Show and Tell”, Chapter six in Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics is summed up excellent. It starts off with a little story about who we all as kids used to take things in to show and tell and not really know the correct terms for what we were showing! He explains how it is normal for children to associate pictures and words, thats why children’s books have more pictures than they have words, however its a phase we need to “grow” out of! As we mature so should our books, therefore the amount of pictures should decrease to none. However we are a world obsessed with moving pictures and words, so how is this really different? Pictures and words go back to ancient times, when pictures were used to represent words because no such thing as an alphabet was created. Pictures have slowly evolved there way into letters or symbols we used everyday to create words. Pictures these days have become more specific as to what they represent, they don’t always need words to tell the story they are portraying. There are many different combinations of words and pictures; word specific, picture specific, duo-specific, additive, parallel, montage, and inter-dependent. Each is a very unique way in creating comics and story lines for comics. If you only want pictures to tell the story there are “specific” ways to do so! And so on and so fourth with any way you want your story to be told.

McCloud has a great way of explaining everything in detail for this chapter. He takes the time to make a sequence of pictures into a story then just a sequence of text boxes. Then when you put them together things make more sense, however they are both able to stand alone and have the same concept. Showing and telling are both very specific things, and they can both easily stand alone, however I believe that they work best when they are together. It makes things easier for everyone around them to understand. Take a cook book for example, anyone can follow a recipe, however if you can see the steps in picture form you feel more confident with the outcome if it looks exactly like the picture step by step.


  1. This post is great. It really covers what the chapter was about. It has balance, it doesn't go to into depth, but it shows the most important parts of the chapter. The personal explanation is good, it explains how McCloud has really accomplished his goal of getting the reader to understand comics. Good job!

  2. My bad i forgot, the title was good! Very catchy!

  3. This is a good post, but I don't think you relay the concepts as well as McCloud does ;-)