Understanding Comics


As I have never truly gotten into comics or understood them, I have always noticed the visuals and symbols that are portrayed throughout them, helping to more easily connect to the reader.  The type of drawings used in cartoons make them stand out from every other type of literature.  Through reading McCloud’s Understanding Comics, the main message that stood out to me about the visuals was that the simpler and less complicated the picture, the more the reader understands and can relate.  I always thought that the better and more in depth visuals were, the easier it was to read, but looking at it from this point, it made more sense of why this would be true.  For me, I found it was easier to pick up the message the drawing was trying to portray when the face had little detail and there wasn’t distracting scenery in the background.  This helps the message get right to the point.

McCloud made me think more about how symbols connect to readers and how our brains are trained to remember these images. I have never thought about how used to seeing symbols we are.  Back to the simple face drawing of the two dots and the line, we automatically know what this is an image of, even without any detail or even the outline of the face or a nose.  It is interesting how symbols like this have become a norm to us.  Relating these simple images to cartoons, it is easy for readers to look and sense immediately what the picture is portraying, and read the short blurb and move on to the next one.  With too many detailed drawings, we would spend too much time staring at each image and not enough time on the comic itself.  The images are just there to help communicate to the reader, not take away from the text.


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