Filling in the gaps


Welcome, to this internet place I write for...

I've been reading Esiner's book on comics, and rereading Scott Mcloud's book on the subject as well.  (both are great, and worth reading if the medium interests you).  Among the seemingly infinite sentences of advice these two throw at you in their comics about comics something jumped out at me, and I felt it was worth blogging.

How comics specifically rely on reader participation to tell the story.  

Other mediums employ similar concepts, games establish places and let the user decide how/when to experience them.  Film draws on human experience and culture to connect audiences with narratives.  The list goes on, but I think since time and space are the same thing in comics the gutter does reader involvement in a unique way.

Each of the two authors mentioned above contends that people want to anthropomorphize things.

 taken from Scott Mcloud's "Making Comics"

 taken from Will Eisner's "Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative"

Though I may disagree with the specifics of what makes a 'bad gun' I think the idea of iconizing is intriguing.

However, I think it go much further than people assigning attributes to what is actually on the page.

In Metal Gear Solid, Ashley Wood uses color to communicate that we are looking through the eyes of a specific character.  We would probably still understand what is going on if it wasn't colored.  However, it does imply a lot about that character's personality, the reader draws tiny conclusions about him/her, and adds it to what they already know about the character.  The story is enhanced because of it.

taken from "Metal Gear Solid" written by Kris Oprisko, artwork by Ashley Wood

Now I know that this specific example isn't uniquely comics, but what if the arrangement is changed...

altered, but
taken from "Metal Gear Solid" written by Kris Oprisko, artwork by Ashley Wood

The story changes based on arrangement, but also on size and negative space.  THAT is what makes comics special.

If the goal is that the reader really walks away knowing your world, and feels like they were a part of it I think that the author needs to engage their brain and encourage their participation.

...just something I've been thinking about

EDIT: some story guys who've worked on films, cartoons, comics etc talk about sequential storytelling.

thanks for dropping by,