Through his comic book “Understanding comics”, Scott McCloud is taking us on a tour of everything about comics including its historical evolution.
After reading those first four chapters, my reaction was “woah”. I thought it was impressive and fascinating how McCloud is able to convey the essence of comics and at the same time have us experience the effects of it. For example, while addressing all the elements that make up comic including gutters, panels, sounds, words, spacing, shape of panes, frames, time, and so much more, he explains and makes use of it at the same time which is really useful for the reader. I also think it is very well done because after reading those chapters, I now grasp that comics is just more than ‘just that’, it is a world so intricate and there is a lot of work and thinking that goes into each page, each panel, each blob of ink that I feel that putting it all together in a book like “Understanding comics” is just beautifully done.
I read comics and yet I never realised everything that goes on behind the scene or never took notice of the effects of long rectangular panels for time lengthening rather than small panels but just experienced the effects of it as a reader. McCloud says that comics rely on the reader, it all depends on the reader and the imagination of the reader which gives life to the comic and even to his character in the book, and I quite agree because with a push from the author of the comic, there is a world that unfolds upon us. Even when reading the first four chapters, I guess I give life to his character in the book, the McCloud because in my head, he has a distinct voice which I attributed to him or at least “imagine” how he would be speaking to me, and this also points to the deep relationship between reader and author as experienced in comic books.
I really enjoy reading this book because somehow, I feel that it provides a huge amount of information in a way that I don’t feel like it is a pain to read or to understand or absorb as it would have been if it was an essay of information or documentary or something else. The journey takes me through things that I will now be able to spot when I read comics and it was interesting to learn about the differences and overlaps of Western culture and Eastern culture.
I found it amusing how he builds up to the definition of comics and the humour behind all the panels, and I thought that this definition was broad enough to incorporate lots of things beneath the category and literally I was surprised by how many things can be classified as comics. Even things that I draw falls under comics without my knowing and I find this really interesting and fascinating this world of comics. McCloud’s work has completely changed the way I now view comics.