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Dream Cloud

21 Mar

By Darryl Ayo

Two different kinds of thinking, in my opinion:

1) caption box is a narration. Sometimes a recollection, other times, a present-tense thought-track of the events at hand.

In other cases, the caption box is used to indicate a person speaking aloud when the art is showing something else. For example if Detective Jones is interrogating Joe the Poolshark who recalls the evening of the murder, the art may illustrate the scene while the spoken dialogue would be overlaid in caption boxes because it isn’t being spoken IN the scene.

2) thought balloons are very good at showing us incidental thoughts. The “wow, she’s hot” thoughts or the part where you shake a guy’s hand and say “pleased to meet you” but inwardly think “jerk.” From my childhood, the Chris Claremont Uncanny X-Men thought balloons, which amounted to paragraphs of personal reflection and exposition did not look good on the page. But short, emotional bursts of unspoken thought are perfect for the thought balloon.

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Intimacy

14 Feb
By Darryl Ayo

I’ve been giving some thought to solitude and its many faces in visual storytelling. Films and comics, for today’s purposes, can be referred to interchangeably.

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Implied Complexity – Mike Mignola

14 Mar
by L. Nichols

One of the greatest strengths of cartooning is in the things that aren’t shown.

Scott McCloud talks about simplification of form in Understanding Comics (which if you haven’t read, I highly recommend). A photo of a person can only represent that one person. A smiley face symbol can represent any smiling face. Cartooning navigates this world between representation and symbol.

For me, I think of cartooning as something very much based in design. It is design in a specific usage. Manipulation of the understanding of forms. (Maybe more than just that, but that is a good start ?*). Cartooning can range from the goofier, caricatured styles (Kevin talked a bit about this) to styles that are more based in reality. Regardless of which style moves you, I feel like cartooning in all its forms really speaks to the idea that “perfection is not when there’s nothing left to add, it’s when there’s nothing left to take away.”

Today, I want to talk about the use of cartooning to imply complexity and particularly Mike Mignola.

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Between the Sheets – Time manipulation and Sacco

28 Feb
by L. Nichols

Let’s consider time and time manipulation as an important component of what comics are about. Sequentiality alone is a little stuffy for me. Manipulation of the reading/understanding of time may be a little closer to the truth. But again, also maybe not quite hitting the nail on the head either.

I imagine that this is a topic I’ll talk about a bit in the future in various ways and with various examples, but for the time being I thought I would continue from the Sacco + words discussion and start by analyzing a passage from Joe Sacco’s Palestine. (Just as a warning, this is about an interrogation).

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Between the Sheets – Joe Sacco’s word placement

14 Feb
by L. Nichols

Back in college, I took a class on comics with the Comparative Media Studies department. This was the first time I really read comics and the first time I fell in love with them. It was also the time when I started drawing comics of my own. Many of our assignments for that class involved page/panel analysis, and I really loved doing this for my own sake. I wanted to figure out tricks. I wanted to know the nuts and bolts. I wanted to understand comics. Now that I have decided be more serious about writing with Comix Cube, I thought I should go back to this practice. Here is the first of many Between the Sheets.

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Joe Sacco & his word placement

One thing that always stands out to me in Joe Sacco’s work is his use of word placement to influence page flow/page reading. I have selected two pages each from Palestine and The Fixer (the two books of his that I actually own and have readily at hand) to talk about. I’m not talking about the stories that these pages are taken from, but rather the actual design of the page and how the layout affects the reading of the page.

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