Understanding Comics Response

I really enjoyed this weeks reading. I found it interesting how McCloud really analyzed each aspect of comics in depth, even the ones I often take for granted- like the spacing between the panels themselves. It really made me think about comics I’ve read and think about breaking down each aspect- artistically and psychologically. He goes into detail with both explanations and examples, both from previous art and through his comic himself. I thought his examples were particularly helpful in explaining his points- for example, when he changes the style in which he draws “himself” to show how realistic styles can take the reader out of the comic.

Something I found particularly interesting was how he said that the simplified style helps the reader self project themselves onto the character. What I thought was just the artist’s personal style actually plays a key role in immersing the reader in the work. I’ve noticed this in debates on comic character’s race- when a character is simple enough it’s easy for someone to assume they are the character is their race. This lead to the simplified style of characters and the detailed backgrounds. It’s not something I’ve paid particular attention to, but looking back on the comics I’ve read I notice the same pattern. I also took a lot of comic effects for granted, when a lot of them were introduced by Jack Kirby or other prominent comic artists.

I thought that when he explained how one could master writing or art and not comics, because they are not just a combination of the two, but rather an art all their own. I think his book really helps to establish comics as such and to dispel other popular stigma against comics.

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