22 February 2012

Hoping, Wishing, and Striving for Success

Scott McCloud had a big bright idea to create Understanding Comics to help people understand comics within and hoped that people would pick up the conversation where he left off. It has been twenty years since he put it out to the world and it is evident that no one picked up the conversation. Therefore, he decided to move on to better and bigger things by continuing the conversation about comics from the outside view in The 12 Revolutions. However, instead of moving on lets go back and relate the first two revolutions within The 12 Revolutions to chapter six “Show and Tell” of Understanding Comics.

Chapter six is about pictures and words, and the first two revolutions are about comics as a literature and comics as an art. McCloud wrote chapter six to show how pictures and words can come together and create a story by using vivid pictures with formal language, or simple pictures with informal language. This proves that there is vivid pictures and formal language within the comic world. So how can comics not be considered a literature or an art form? Or better yet, how can they expand? Well no one really knows until someone decides to dive in on this problem full force.

Lets explore part of the first question comics as an art form. My Introduction to Art book called A World of Art by Henry M. Sayre presented a french comic strip called Kim Wilde by Marjane Satrapi. This comic strip is appreciated for Satrapi's picture supporting the words. Even if you do not understand the french language the comic strip would still be easy to read due to Satrapi's vivid pictures. The art world values this particular comic because it is able to tell a story without any words at all. However, throughout A World of Art the medium of a comic is only presented once proving that comics have not completely reached their full potential to be appreciated as an art form.

Now we can explore the other part of the first question comics as a literature. Comics continue to be viewed as childish. People might think comics are so easy to read even a cave man can do it. However, that is not the real case. People tend to see comics with only two mediums superheroes and cartoons, they have not yet expanded their horizons. They do not know that comics have a huge variety such as both McCloud's books Understanding Comics and The 12 Revolutions. McCloud's vocabulary within both books proves that comics have great literature. The day that will be appreciated is yet to come.

There is only so much McCloud along with the creators of comics can do. They can put out this huge variety of comics but how the world views and appreciates comics as a whole is not up to the creators it is up to society. Personally, I believe that comics to be considered an art and literature form is going to take time. Comics need to reach new heights and the only way they can do that is by continuing to expand. Maybe our generation will never get to experience the beauty of comics; hopefully, the next generation will. If this happens comics might be taken to new heights.


  1. Wow, you're going off on some amazing tangents here, Karli! Excellent work!

    But I would have liked a little more summary first. Remember, you have to give your reader the necessary background information for them to understand your points :-)

  2. Okay, I will make sure to have a better summary in my future blog.