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Understanding Comics

When looking at comics one must look and see the difference between reading a book versus reading a comic book. The experience of reading a comic is different for obvious reasons, pictures being one of them. The feelings and emotions literally pop off the page. The facial expressions and the different angles that provide a unique experience for the reader. In reality one cannot compare the experience of reading a comic to reading a formal piece of literature. A closer medium to comics would probably be watching Television. Though the two do capture features and emotions of the characters, one entices the mind to work its imagination and the other just satisfies the a couple senses. Comics as a medium can really provide an escape into literature. The reader has the ability to follow the story along with the ability to create his or her own interpretations of the text. When it comes to the contrary medium, there is purely what is in front of the viewer. With programs such as reality shows viewers do not use any sort of imagination.

In addition to the different interpretations of the medium comics provide a certain je ne sais quoi aspect to them. Either they can be very realistic or extremely abstract. This gives the reader a variety experiences throughout the text. The different style not only give the reader different ways to imagine the text but it allows the artists to explore different styles of artistry. In addition the artist can add another element when interpreting heroes and villains. The grand and large scheme of having something super-human creates a world unknown to most mediums.

So how do we really understand comics? In one’s opinon it is up to the reader. It is a way to get lost in a fantastical world that is specific to the individual. Readers understand them by connecting to the pictures that they see in the comic. When the reader sees large lettering or an explosive sound they interpret them in their own way. This is what makes a comic different than most mediums. It is valid to say that by watching television there can be more stimulating moments when it comes to the sight and hearing sensations, but there is something that can be said for a comic. By reading it, the text becomes your own. In addition by not having it main-stream or brand new and flashy, keeps the readings personal.

Today comics are converting into movies which can tarnish the full experience of reading. The movies, if they are good, can achieve the super-human nature of the characters, but the aura that follows a comic is lost with the flashiness of the blockbuster mentality.

Now it is important to note that other mediums do have many layers and can have a connection to the reader/viewer. The artistic style of writing in a traditional format is not better or worse than a comic style, just different. So for one to understand comics they first have to be aware of the distinctive natures of the mediums.


J. Chambliss said…
Your engagement with comics will make the class both fun and a challenge. As we move forward, ask yourself how the medium is affecting you and how creators are expanding the medium to achieve result unique to it.

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