Comics and film…not that different?

23 Oct

In comic books, the passage of time and what is shown are choices left up to the artist as they give life to the words of the writer. This can be conveyed through what they let the reader see in the panel and how that image is conveyed to further the narrative. Choices that can be made can vary on how something is presented in-panel from a moment to a moment, action-to-action, subject-to-subject, scene-to-scene, or aspect to aspect, or showing two seemingly unrelated images. As John McCloud says, “Consider what you want from each part of your story: do you want to jump ahead to a key event? Do you want to put on the brakes and focus on smaller moments? Do you want to draw attention to conversations and faces? Depending on your answers, you’ll find that certain types of transitions between panels may get the job done better than others” (14). This is done through using the six aforementioned methods of transitions from panel-to-panel.

In this way, transitioning between things in a comic book is a lot like transitioning between moments in a film. You transition between from a moment to a moment on a single subject to show their movement and how they convey emotion, scene-to-scene to transition between two different environments and characters in the narrative, and showing two seemingly unrelated images to provide some foreshadowing for the future. These types of choices can help portray emotions and how something important can be shown early on to set up for a future event. The difference is between comics and movies is that movies have actors and music to help convey what is going on in the shot, as opposed to just reading what is happening and trying to project your emotions and feelings onto the image. With this in mind, ask yourself the question: are comic books and movies that different after all?

Works Cited

McCloud, John. “Writing with Pictures.” P. 8-37.

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