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Understanding Comics

Before reading the first 60 pages of Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud I looked at comics from a different perspective. Like many of the average people on the street, I did not know the true meaning or definition of a comic. "Juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence intended to convey information and/ or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer", would not be my response if someone asked me to describe what I thought a comic was. It would be more along the lines of what I see in family circle in the daily newspaper. After reading this book it has been brought to my attention that what I believed to be a comic my entire life was in reality not a comic. On top of the corny newspaper comics, I was aware but never looked into the comics such as Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman and all of the popular super heroes that are in magazines or now even in extremely high reviewed movies. Another misconception that many people including myself make about all comics is that they it is a necessity that comics are humorous in nature. We even have associated funny with comics by saying that something is “comical”. This is not always the case, comics can be humorous, serious, or even just tell a story like Understanding Comics. It is not intended to be funny, or needed to be serious, it is used simply to tell a story in a different and interesting manor. There are many ways to interpret comics, but it is mainly based off of how the writer intends the projected audience to understand how it is written. A book written for a younger audience may be less violent and contain more pictures then a book that is intended for adults or teenagers. The one thing that comics do that other forms of art cannot is expressing an idea very quickly. Comics use both pictorial images, and words to tell a specific story. A story that could take paragraph after paragraph to portray the point could be covered in 60 pages as Scott McCloud did in his comic book. I grew up viewing comics as a nerdish way of reading books and was never really interested in any sort of comic. I never had a passion for reading comics, let alone understand what the comics would have said. After reading this book I have given more credit to the writers of comics. Earlier in life, I always saw comics differently, but with just 60 pages from this book I have grown to appreciate comics and actually enjoy reading the very few I have. Comics allow the mind to flow, and put the story together in any way that the reader feels the story should go. More then television or reading, comics are a broad story and you are able to fill in all the little details the way the reader sees it. From not understanding comics at all, and reading only Understanding Comics I have gained an appreciation for comics and feel that I am on my way to understanding comics better.


J. Chambliss said…
This is solid analysis of the readings from Understanding Comics. As we move forward, let your expanded definition of comics be a guide to understand how the medium provide the reader with a unique experience.

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