I was reading Understanding Comics in the library when a friend of mine approached and said “ Hahaha are you really reading comics in the library?” I didn’t know how to respond, but at that moment I realized how lucky I was to get access to this book. McCloud breaks many misunderstandings I had towards comics, and gives me a whole new perspective on comics instead.
One of my main misunderstandings of comics is its definition. I wasn’t a big comic fan, so I have always thought that comics equals cartoon equals anime. However, McCloud is saying that this may be considered as comics (Gérard Rancinan, Broken or the Dance of the Fool, 2011),
but this is not.
I realized how narrowly I used to define comics and how I confused it with other concepts. It also impressed to see how McCloud describes the difference between film and comics as “Space does for comics what time does for film.” This idea accurately reveals the sequential essence of both film and comics as well as pointing out the difference.
One of my other misunderstandings of comics is its complexity. I used to think that comics is simpler than paintings or writings because it basically guides your mind and leaves you with no imagination space. However, after reading the book I realised how people give icons life and fill up the gutter according to their own understanding. Thus if “there are a thousand Hamlets in a thousand people’s eyes”, there are a thousand Batman in a thousand people’s eyes.
The concepts such as film, comics, cartoon, and icon touched in the book are not easy to define, but I love how McCloud explains concepts and definitions using a more interesting and comprehensible way – comics.