30 January 2012

Chapter 3: Blood in the Gutter

In the beginning of chapter 3 of Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art he introduces the topic called Closure. He describes that people perceive the world as being a whole but people can only tell so much by using their five senses (smell, taste, see, listen, and feel). But in reality the world is fragmented and incomplete. He uses that example to introduce the term closure, meaning that one observes the world as a whole. McCloud begins to discuss the different forms of closure. Closure is that space where the mind wanders between one panel to the next panel. McCloud uses an example of a comic strip where there is a killer with an axe in one panel and just another panel of a word that describes someone screaming. That space in between makes the reader’s mind wander and their imagination come into play causing the reader to actually participate in what they are reading. This then leads into the topic of the panel transformations. He listed six of them, but the common ones are Action to Action, Scene to Scene, and Subject to Sucject. McCloud’s point of this chapter is to show how important closure is when it comes to reading comics. It causes the reader to relate and actually get involved with whatever comic they are reading, causing a connection between the author and the audience.

When reading this chapter I started paying attention to what really closure meant. I re-read a few panels of the comic and my mind wandered. Closure is important when it comes to writing a comic just because it allows the reader to use their imagination and in some sort of way become the author of the unwritten parts of the comic. This chapter made me understands the comic world more clearly. It is not just a bunch of pictures with a few words, there is more in between the lines or in this case in between the panels.


  1. Good post, Paige. But why is it important that closure makes the reader a co-author?

  2. I did the same thing just to see if it really works and it does. Its kind of cool to learn about the reasons behind doing some of the things a creator does.

  3. I agree, the authors allow the reader to become the co-author of the unwritten parts. This reminds me of a fiction novel and how important it is for the author to describe the surrounding to really help the reader create a picture of the place and situation. In comics the panels allow for that imagination to take an even more interesting twist.