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Understanding Comics

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Alec_Promotional_Image1Comics: The Medium of the 21st Century

I’ve put forward the theory before that comics will be the defining storytelling medium of the 21st century, just as novels were in the 19th and cinema was in the 20th. It’s a theory inspired… [more]

Understanding Comics 3 TIME ROPETime Paradox: Sound in Comics

Comics are unique in that it is the only medium where sound is seen, rather than heard by its audience.  My previous discussion on this topic focused on some visual devices used in comics to… [more]

Marlon Brando WritingMarlon Brando and the Problems with Collective Cartooning

In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud defines the act of cartooning as “amplification through simplification.”  In other words, a cartoon ignores most of the details, focusing instead on only one or two key components.  In the… [more]

Batman 29Don’t Ignore the Art: Reviewing and Commenting on Comics, Part 2

Line Work (Pencils / Brushwork) One of the first things I look at when opening up a comic is the style that’s being used. Is it more lifelike (realistic) or cartoonish (iconic)? Scott McCloud discusses… [more]

UnderstandingComicsDon’t Ignore the Art: Reviewing and Commenting on Comics, Part 1

What’s the difference between a comic book and a novel? The answer seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it? Yet, it still confounds me to no end that someone will take the time to write a review… [more]

Understanding Comics, CoverUnderstanding Comics on the Wabash Cannonball

I took the last “left” to Clarksville because, contrary to popular belief, there is no train.  Driving up the Interstate from Nashville, I wondered idly how many other people had been disappointed to learn that… [more]

will eisner comics and sequential artWriting About Comics the Will Eisner Way

In 1985, decades after his first comic book, Will Eisner wrote Comics and Sequential Art, his treatise about how comic books work.  The first of three books (Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative and Expressive Anatomy… [more]

readingSuper-Hero Comics and Reader Textualization: Participation and Narrative Construction

This is a piece that explores the idea of textualization in super-hero comics and how these stories are constructed. More than that, it is an introduction to exploring purpose — why are super-heroes so engaging… [more]

07-13-2011 Definition of ComicsIt Takes Two – Text & Image in Comics

So, comics as an art form! A truly legitimate art form, unique and self-actualized, with debacles and triumphs all its own. Not the bastard child of film and literature, and not just for kids, male adolescents, or… [more]

Fredric WerthamSeduction of the Insolent (or, Retraction of the Innocent)

Know thy enemy. It is a long-standing idiom and one that is well-practiced by mainstream comics, most specifically the super-hero genre.

mccloudheadComics’ Identity Crisis: Claiming “Art” is a Misguided Quest

Comics have a bit of an identity crisis: our culture cannot decide what they really are, leaving them to pay the price both financially and legally.

TepPocketsAmerican Thesis #2: What are Comics?

It is easier to see how comics are related to their readers when the many different terms are understood. Defining comics is the first step. Several industry professionals offer their opinions of what the word… [more]

Why Comics MatterWhy Comics Matter

The following video consists of a lecture I delivered on 5 January 2006 at Glen Carbon Centennial Library in Glen Carbon, Illinois. The total runtime is 46 minutes.