29 January 2012

Chapter 3: Imagination and Faith

In chapter three of Scott Mcclouds Understanding Comics, the reader learns about a tool that comics focus on, closure. Mccloud breaks down how comic readers are able to take fragments of scenes and make them a whole. The brain is able to commit closure when it notices certain patterns, black and white images, and outlines. The gap in between comics is used as closure, our brains are able to fill in the space with what we believe to be there. Comics use closure far more than any other media, the readers must use their imagination to allow a baseball to be in a hand in one picture to being thrown in the air in the next. There are six different styles of transition: movement-to-movement, action-to-action, subject- to- subject, scene-to-scene, aspect-to-aspect, and non-sequitur. In 1966, Jack Kirby the creator of "Fantastic Four" introduced a style in comics where action-to-action is followed by subject-to-subject then scene-to-scene. He set the stage for how American comic makers would continue to make their comics. It was even noticed that European writers also followed this style. Other artist such as Osamu Tezuka from Japan decided to stray from the orthodox style of comics and publish ones that were radically different. Japanese artist do not follow the same conventions as American artist, which proves that comics can have any of the six transitions and the readers will still understand.Some comic strips focus on filling medium with plenty of details and others don't. Keeping comics simple contributes to the "less is more" concept, readers are then able to imagine what should be in the comics. By artist keeping the readers involved throughout the comic strip, the reader will always come back for more.

In every chapter it seems as if Scott Mccloud introduces a new topic that helps decode the secrets behind comics. After he introduces the topic, he elaborately explains his topic and connects his evidence to things the reader will agree with and understand. In Chapter 3 of Understanding Comics, Mccloud discusses the importance of "the gutter", which is the gap between frames. The gutter is able to provide closure for the reader, we can fill in blank spaces with whatever we see fit to connect to the next image. I don't believe the mind even notices its doing it, it is able to accept one frame to the next without questioning how it happened that way. The six transitions seem to all connect, they all involve actions and reactions. In order to understand comics better, it is best for the reader to get an understanding on how closure plays a huge part in reading them.


  1. Should have read this before i posted mine...forgot all about the gutter.

  2. Not a bad post, but be careful of being overly detailed. For example, you start in with your opinion but then go back to McCloud's points. Think through your own ideas more carefully.

  3. Your summary overall is very detailed on the major point of the chapter, which is closure as well a some of the other subtle topics associated with chapter. I very much agree with you on your opinion of Scott McCloud introducing interesting topics with almost conclusive evidence on why we should accept his perspective. Although I understand the why your summary is very detailed, because there is alot to be discuss in chapter three. Your description of the six panel transitions are a bit vauge.

    1. Ah, but does he have evidence? Or is he just very persuasive?

  4. I really like how you explained the way to explain closure. You used very simple words, and explained it perfectly. I had a hard time trying to put the term "closure" into my own words.