Wednesday, October 29, 2008

McCloud-ian comics, part II

for this assignment, I chose to look at Mike's blog. The comic he analyzed is called Player Vs Player. The "episode" he looked at involves a the accidental stabbing of a security guard mistaken for a vampire.
Mike commented that he liked the fact that the comic was black and white. I tend to agree: while I wasn't at all taken by the comic he chose I can almost guarantee that I would have liked it less in color. I think this is because of something Scott McCloud (the comic-theorist-god) points out in his chapter on color: "With out the emotional impact of single-color saturation, the expressive potential of American color comics was often canceled out to an emotional gray"(188). This really struck a chord with me, as a tend to dislike action comics for their over saturation of color. I think that McCloud must be on to something with this, as both Mike and I prefer the black and white, and it was briefly discussed in class that the comics with intense line and color in the paper were often skipped by many students in the class. Not quite related to what Mike had to say, but still relevant: that McCloud quote concerning color suddenly explained to me why I eventually found reading things like this

From Daniel Clowes' Ghostworld

comparatively comfortable: the single color use and thin lines are far less jarring than their over-saturated action-hero counterparts. That, and I'm a cutting-edge bitch too, so I can relate.
I realize that this is a complete aside, but I feel its an important observation if we're talking about the theory of comics and their perceived prestige in society.

Back to Mike.

In his discussion of PvsP, Mike doesn't really explore the relationship between the words and the images, which is what struck me as most compelling about this strip. All four panels are, according to McCloud, Word specific-- the words convey the meaning of the strip by themselves and the images simply illustrate without lending any tangible meaning (153). This seemed odd to me, as some pretty exciting stuff happens in these four panels but we don't get to see any of it, just read about it and look at people discussing instead.

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