Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Reading and writing about comic ala McCloud

The comic I chose to read is "The Silencer", an online comic by Mike Heronime and Tony Pacitti. The Comic is about two boys who find a briefcase containing a gun-with a silencer- while fishing. It can be found here.

Things McCloud might like to talk about here:

1.Gutters. I really like the choice of panel contents in the segment I have included above. Specifically, I like the intentional-ness of it: this easily could have been on panel, but its not. Instead, a transition is created between the active bicycle and the emotive face, creating two separate foci or actions. On a broader scope, transitions are a very interesting aspect of this comic. Because it is published online, the author can control how much of the story a reader sees at once, in way that wouldn't be as effective (emotionally or cost) on the page. In this case, the reader is often only given one frame or panel at a time, and it requires action on the part of the reader to see the next one. On the surface, I could see how McCloud would argue that this pushes "The Silencer" in to his "cartoon not comic dammit" category. However, I would argue that the internet changes the medium-- and our definition slightly. I think that because the individual panels are intended-- and indeed require-- to be read together, the fact that they are presented on different pages does not discount them from inclusion of our comic definition. Instead, I would argue that the web allows for "infinite gutters", requiring more closure and direct participation from the reader, not eliminating the need for it.

2. Real vs. ideal. "The Silencer" uses an intriguing combination of realistic and idealistic images. In the example above, the use of shading and gradation creates a fairly realistic body, and the straight lines of the bicycle add to the effect. However, the wobbly looking wheels and relatively simplified face adds a distinctly "cartoonish" quality to it.

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