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Discuss ideas from the book Understanding Comics - Essay Example

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A Critical Analysis on “Understanding Comics” 1.0 Introduction Art is the application of skill and creativity in order to reproduce beauty. It is also an avenue for artists to redefine themselves as they harness their individual creativity to create aesthetically pleasing works…
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Discuss ideas from the book Understanding Comics
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Discuss ideas from the book Understanding Comics

Download file to see previous pages... Scott McCloud, however, seeks to rectify this in his book “Understanding Comics”. He presents comics as an unsung hero in the Arts. The book is a portal to getting a good grasp of the nature of comics and the concepts integrated in it. This paper seeks to analyze concepts discussed in Scott McCloud’s book, “Understanding Comics” and establish how some of those concepts apply to other forms of media. 2.0 Concepts McCloud asserts that there is “no guarantee that anything exists outside what my five senses report to me” (61). This demonstrates the concept of closure. Closure, as discussed in the third chapter of this book, is where our imagination comes into play -- Much like the tip of the iceberg, one only sees a portion of it, yet one knows that the bulk of it is submerged beneath the surface. McCloud believes that “To kill a man between panels is to condemn him to a thousand deaths" (69). As readers fill in the gap between those panels, each of them creates their own versions of how that man died, hence, a thousand deaths. Readers did not actually see how the man died but based on what was presented to them in the panel, they concluded that that man did die and even developed their own account as to how. Another concept tackled is transition. McCloud mentions six: “moment to moment, action to action, subject to subject, scene to scene, aspect to aspect, and non sequitur” (70-72). The first one constitutes of a single subject within a brief period of time. This one affords little time for closure. Action to action still consists of a single subject but for a considerable length of time. The third one comprises of different subjects but a single scene. Scene to scene, literally, is a shift of scenes. The fourth transition transfers attention to aspects of mood, place, or idea (McCloud 70-72). McCloud notes that art makes visible the visible (123). This is indicative of emotion. Emotions are represented by lines in comics as it is the person’s sense of sight utilized to make up for the non usage of the sense of hearing. McCloud also discussed six steps an artist goes through in reproducing art -- idea, form, idiom, structure, craft, and surface (162-184). First, the artist should brainstorm on the concept of the work based on emotions and ideologies and derive the content from the aforementioned. This is followed by the decision on what form that particular piece of work would take. The genre it is classified under is identified. After which, organization of content is done -- determining what is included or excluded. Thereafter, the artist proceeds to creating the piece of art itself, employing skills, knowledge, and other resources in the process. Finally, focus is placed on the superficial aspects of the work -- those which are clearly seen upon first exposure to it (McCloud 162-184). In line with these six steps, McCloud has classified artists into two according to the emphasis they placed on the first two of these steps. He claims that the artists who focus on form are the innovators (McCloud 179). On the other hand, those who focus on idea are the conceptualists (McCloud 180). This idea is relevant to David Galenson’s theory on Art. Artists can be categorized into two -- those who proceed to innovate experimentally, yet cautiously, using their perceptions and those who innovate conceptually, using both ideas and feelings alike (Galenson 351-362). 2.1 The Concept of Closure in Other Media Forms ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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