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Blitzing through 'Understanding Comics' by Scott McCloud

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J.M. Foley

on 29 November 2013

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Transcript of Blitzing through 'Understanding Comics' by Scott McCloud

Blitz through 'Understanding Comics'
by Scott McCloud

- Juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer
- Comics have been around for centuries
- Icons
- amplification through simplification
- realm of concepts
- realm of sense
- closure - 'observing the parts but perceiving the whole'
- the gutter - nothing seen between the panels
- participation required
- types of transitions
Moment to moment
Action to action - (65% US)
Subject to subject - (20% US)
Scene to scene - (15% US)
Aspect to aspect - popular in Japan
(US vs Japanese and experimental)
- Sound: mono-sensory medium
Setting the record straight
The vocabulary of comics
Blood in the gutter
1300 BC - 1731 - +/- 1800 - 1919 - 20th cent.
Rodolphe T"opfer
Max Ernst
Menna's tomb
Time is like a rope
- holding a moment with a silent panel
- panel major icon
indicates time or space division - duration and dimension defined by content (if not - sense of timelesness, if panel bleeds effect enhanced)
widening space between panels
shape of the panel
path often visible
focus on object or background?
subjective morion (driver seat)
polyptych (figure imposed on continuous background)
composition of time, change, memory
word balloons
sound effects
both add to duration
Time Frames
Lines = expression
Lines evoke emotional and sensual responses
Lines used as symbols (smoke, visible - smell, invisible) - can be culturally determined
Lines used as backdrop to show characters' emotions
variations in balloon shape
variations in lettering styles
words also lines (more specific/less emotionally charged)
Investment required from reader
Living in Line
Show and tell
(The Path to Creation, mostly in reverse order)
The six steps
- expensive
- objectifies
- focus on form
- enhances tone and mood
- flat colour palette
- equal representation of colours
A word about colour
Putting it all together
"to unite the different artforms which appealed to the different senses.
Kandinsky: line, shape and colour to ... provoke the five senses
Anxious: textures
Loud: shapes
quiet: lines
pictorial art vs written word
iconography vs pictorial representation
prior to 1800 divergence of picture and word
post 1800 word and picture re-unite
word specific
picture specific
duo specific
Comics are a fabulous means of communication with much potential.
part 1
part 2
part 3
interview with Art Spiegelman
2 hour lecture A. Spiegelman
Full transcript