Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Chapter 1 - Understanding Comics

I think the point of this chapter was essentially to say what is and is not actually a comic, as well as the importance of the medium as a separate thing from the creator. After reading this I like to think of a comic as a storyboard. A good example of this is how The Watchmen graphic novel was turned into a feature film. I think the important thing that McCloud is trying to get across is that it as long as it has 2 frames a comic separates itself from being just a picture with a caption.

Understanding Comics

By Veronica Harris

Date: 1/26/10
Class: Digital Animation
Prof. Surah Drury
Title: Understanding Comics Assignment

What does McDonald say about comics in relationship to ideas about sequence, the history of art and/or the history of written language? Please give your views, citing examples from the reading.

• In reference to Sequence – McDonald’ says that comics are not just sequential art as “Eisner” states. Although animation is sequential, it is not the same as a comic. Comics are static pictorial images, along with other images, placed side by side, called “Juxtaposed”, in a deliberate sequence. For example, at the top of Understanding Comics Chap 1, pt 2, page 1 of the pdf file, on page 7, he says “Each successive frame of a movie is projected on exactly the same space – the screen – while each frame of comics must occupy a different frame of space.”
• In reference to the history of art – He says that all media have been examine for its’ art form, except comics, as though comics are not an art form at all. For example, at the bottom of Understanding Comics Chap 1, pt 1, page 5 of the pdf file, on page 6, he says, “At one time or another virtually all the great media have received critical examination, in and of themselves”. But for Comics this attention has been rare.”
• In reference to the history of written language – He says that in Egypt thirty-two centuries ago, what he thought was comics, is actually the written word, and pictures representing words, before the actual alphabet was used to represent words. For example, at the bottom of Understanding Comics Chap 1, pt 2, page 6 of the pdf file, on page 12, he says, “At first, Egyptian hieroglyphics would seem to fit our definition perfectly, but much depends on our use of the word “Pictorial”. Also at the top of Understanding Comics Chap 1, pt 3, page 1 of the pdf file, on page 13, he says, “Here’s the completed scene painted over thirty-two centuries ago for the tomb of “Menna” and ancient Egyptian scribe, as would be done 2,700 years later in Mexico, the Egyptians read their comics zig-zag.”

McCloud Chapter 1

The final definition that McCloud came up with for comics was: Juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer. This a somewhat broad definition intended to encompass a wide range of mediums beyond just comic books. However, he also limits it to not include film which is not juxtaposed but projected in sequence on a set area of space. He also does not include cartoons that have only one frame (such as Family Circus on occasion). McCloud goes further than the actual space and into its context as well. He tries to distinguish between ancient languages and stories told through pictures. He used Egyptian hieroglyphics versus their paintings as an example. Hieroglyphics use pictures, but to represent specific words. While painting "act" out a story.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Welcome to Digital Animation 2010

Here are some important links:

I. THIS BLOG: http://digitalanimation2010.blogspot.com

II. The Class Website is:

The Class Website has info about

1. our weekly SCHEDULE, production assignments, reading assignments and other important dates.

2. the class SYLLABUS, with general guidelines for the class, including attendance policy, dis/abilities policy, grading criteria, and other important info.

3. STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS for technical guidance on assignments

III. The CLASS BLACKBOARD SITE: http://tuportal.temple.edu/ --> BLACKBOARD

The CLASS BLACKBOARD SITE has downloads of readings and other materials for class. It also has a Communication link, through which you can email anyone in the class. It also has a GRADE CENTER, where your assignment and class grades will be posted.

I'm looking forward to an exciting semester,