Week 2: Response to “Understanding Comics” – Cindy Li (Madsen)

When I was young, I enjoyed reading comic books. From the Japanese comic books from the library to the American Marvel comic books at the doctors, comic books were sort of a staple to my childhood growing up. While reading McCloud’s “Understanding Comics,” I really understood what he was describing. In the comic, McCloud states that when something like a face is simplified the message is easily conveyed. When a text is simpler and bold, it can be conveyed more like a picture rather than a block of text.

I liked how McCloud states that artists aren’t eliminating characteristics but focusing on specific details instead. He compares his detailed realistic drawing of a man and compares it with a face that is comprised of a circle, two dots and a line. Both are represented as a face but it is more simplified. Following this, I like how he says that we can see ourselves in these nonrealistic drawings. In these simple drawings, images of ourselves are reflected.

McCloud also draws upon how the images that artists draw in comic books are subjective to reality. In comics, there is no way to depict our 5 senses. We can not hear, see, taste, touch or smell how the trees in the comics are or how the artist draws the squiggly lines on the back of the paper. There are differences in the way artists convey their message in comics and how they would convey it in reality.

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