Response to “Understanding Comics”

Comics have never been something to which I reach for entertainment—presently or as a child. I would consider the drawings in comics art, but never considered the comic as a whole as an art form. I feel like I am exactly the target audience Scott McCloud has in mind when he calls comics an “invisible art.”

There is much complexity to comics that I honestly never thought of. The idea of closure—observing the parts but perceiving the whole—for instance. Like McCloud says, I depend on closure everyday (McCloud, 63), but it is not something I ever gave conscious thought to, and certainly did not know that some storytellers intentionally use closure to “produce suspense or to challenge audiences” (McCloud, 63).

Furthermore, panels in a comic are connected by the reader through closure. This is an idea that, again, makes sense, but is not something I think about. The ability the storyteller has to choose how to jump in the story between panels is really interesting, because with this decision he is giving a particular level of freedom to the reader in how they interpret every transition.

The entire art of comics is, I think, much more intricate than I ever imagined. Reading Understanding Comics has made me reconsider other mediums that I may have not truly regarded as art in the past.

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