Understanding Comics!

31 Jul

This year we learned a great deal from classroom interaction, teaching tools, films and graphic novels themselves.  As someone who came into this classroom with no background of this genre, Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics proved to be a useful tool for me.  A common theme is his emphasis on their potential as a communication medium because the avenue between a comic and his reader in regard to the imagination has not been fully tapped.  McCloud treats his reader as one who is new to the world of comics.  He begins by generally and explicitly defining comics, followed by a history lesson on their past development.  McCloud then describes the mechanics of their language; he illustrates to his readers the uses of paneling, the value of comics’ symbols, and the detection and power of a relationship between words and illustrations.  He also vividly and fondly expresses how words and pictures work together to engage all the reader’s senses, as well as motion and time.  I see comics very differently now – I have a deep appreciation for their work.  While I have long acknowledged their profound creative minds, I have a new appreciation for the level of complexity involved and how integral the reader’s own open mind is.

Here is an interactive link to read about the book’s main premises further:



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