What Comics Can Do!
Hello again, or for the first time! Either way, thank you for joining me on this journey. In my last post I talked about the meaning of comics and what they are. However, I only scratched the surface and very lightly at that. In short, they are a medium of visual, sequential communication intended to convey information and/or produce an aesthetic response in the viewer.
Today, I am talking about what comics can do. Well... writing, as this is not a verbal but visual form of communication. Anyway, comics have an unusual ability as they can encompass the whole realm of iconography. From pictorial realism, to iconic cartoons, to the completely abstract and even the invisible world of symbols and language. They also stimulate the viewer's imagination with the use of the visible and invisible, leaving the reader to fill in the gaps between panels. This also is how comics stimulate the senses, giving you something to see within the panels and something to imagine between them.
Comics call upon our innate human response to read and share stories. Furthermore, they can harness the power of cartoons by allowing the reader to put themselves in the shoes of the characters. This commands the reader’s identification and involvement and bridges the gap between them and the world in which the story is set. We are a self-centred species and see ourselves within anything that slightly resembles us. With the most simplistic and iconic styles, comics allow a large range of people to relate directly to the characters. Moreover, if we don’t directly relate, we tend to have someone we are close to reflected in the wide cast of characters, giving us the sense we know them in some shape or form.
Finally, we come to the baffling relationship comics have with time and space. Within comics, time is represented by space; as you move through the page, the story moves forward in time. Past, present and future are all laid out before your eyes, allowing you to see what is to come and remind you of what has already happened. This allows for your subconscious to understand the concept or essence of a story without you reading it in detail. This in turn draws you in, to dig deeper into the intricacies of the story. Some comic artists have done interesting experiments with space equalling time, such as circular narratives or parallel narratives...
Communication is so important, and comics are a way of communicating like no other. But that’s not to say they are any better or any worse than the other ways we connect. I think that all forms of communication have their strengths and weaknesses and each one has their place to tell stories that resonate with people. Maybe the only way to convey a certain emotion is with the expression of dance or with a poem spoken from the heart. Depending on the story you want to tell and the emotions you want to convey, each one has an individual way of telling it. When you go deep enough into all of these forms of expression, they all end up reaching the same place - the deep desire to understand the world we live in and to share our knowledge with those around us.
This is the beginning of a journey and I hope it will lead me to a place of understanding art and communication on a deeper level. I hope I can provide some insight not only into comics but into the human condition, to express emotion and share stories.
I want to thank you for reading, and hope you found this an enjoyable read.
Your friendly neighbourhood Chin.
I want to thank you for reading, and hope you found this an enjoyable,
Your friendly neighbourhood Chin.