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TRIAD: Maus Analysis Using Understanding Comics

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Hannah Ditter

on 26 February 2014

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Transcript of TRIAD: Maus Analysis Using Understanding Comics

Closure in Maus:
Spiegelman uses closure on every page of Maus
In most cases, the closure is so simple and easy most reader don't notice
the author even adds words to narrate the closure
Transition from Closure to Time
just as panels create the illusion of closure they also create the illusion of time and motion
Panels: Comics' Most Important Icon
No fixed or absolute meaning
Their meaning is not fluid or malleable
They are a "general indicator that time or space is being divided"
But the duration of time and the dimensions of space are defined by the contents of the panel
(McCloud 99)
Borderless panels take on a timeless quality
: A Survivor's Tale in Time

Closure in Comics
Hannah Ditter and
Morgan Strom

Chapter 3 of Understanding Comics discusses the idea of closure through pictures and panels
Closure is the "phenomenon of observing the parts but perceiving the whole" (McCloud 63)
We experience closure when we look from one panel to the next making and connect two unconnected movements
Closure happens between panels
This space between panels is called "the gutter" (McCloud 66)
This is where two separate pictures become one action
The shape can also change your perception of time
Panel to panel can show scenes a second apart or a hundred million years apart
(McCloud 100-1)
The shape can affect the reading experience (McCloud 99)
Bleeding panels may seem timeless as well.
They linger in the reader's mind and can set a mood or a sense of place
(McCloud 102-3)
in some cases, the closure takes a little more work
Speigleman purposefully does this to make the reader really think about what they're reading
(Spiegelman 155)
(Spiegelman 80)
(Spiegelman 15)
(Spiegelman 51)
(Spiegelman 82)
Pictures and the intervals between them create closure
Words create time by representing sound
(Spiegelman 157)
Words take time
Each word balloon has its own twists and turns
Figures and face match words in time
Think of time as a rope
Moving from left to right (McCloud 96-97)
McCloud 67
McCloud 66
Spiegelman 48
McCloud 95
Spiegelman's personal style is panels with one or two bubbles
He focuses more on images
We percieve time spatially
This dictates panel shape and order

How does this reflect Spiegelman's style
How does all of this contribute to the work as a whole?
How does this contribute to the theme of the work?

Works Cited
Action lines depict action with drama
Multiple images of the subject are used to involve the reader more deeply in the action
Other techniques such as streaking and blurring the image or background are used to show motion
(McCloud 112-3)
Motion in Maus
Here Spiegelman uses a single motion line to portray a bullet
One of the few times motion lines are used in Maus
Creates extra drama within the scene
McCloud, Scott. Understanding Comics. Ed. Mark Martin. NewYork: HarperCollins, 1993. Print.

Speigelman, Art. “Maus I: My Father Bleeds History.” 1986. My Father Bleeds History. New York: Raw Books and Graphics, 1986. N. pag. Print. Vol. I of Maus: A Survivor’s Tale. II vols.

(McCloud 112)
(McCloud 113)
Speigelman 62
What does it mean?
Why doesn't Spiegelman use more motion lines?
How would more motion lines change the meaning of the work as a whole?
Motion is subjective
Spiegelman 24
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