Time & Motion: Mikah Chan


A page taken from Chris Ware’s graphic novel Building Stories (Pantheon Books, 2012)

When talking about time and motion, this image stood out to me. The way this particular comic shows how time is moving and the way motion is implied is very interesting. With the work consisting of static drawings and frames, the author made an interesting choice of presenting implied time through repetition. Many of the frames are equal in size, and a kind of symmetrical framing can be seen throughout the page,this is one example of repetition that the author uses. Another example and the most direct use of repetition to interpret time is the repeating images we see in the comic, whether different angles of a older women sleeping, her hand resting on an armchair, or a woman cleaning her house, all are repeating images. However the third example of repetition, the text, may give us the biggest clue at implied motion, as it is a repeating text on all the images and it is viewed as an onomatopoeia. With constant humming in the repeating images, it is implied to the viewer that time is in fact passing and though repetition in some cases may make images look static, it is a variation of still images (angles, slight adjustments, text, etc.) working together that helps create the illusion of time. In terms of motion, Ware again uses subtleties to create this implied effect. The more specific example  of this would be the images of the housekeeper in the comic, while the older woman stays in complete stillness, minor adjustments to the housekeeper’s placement (if on the right or left of the T.V) implies that some kind of motion has occurred. My favorite example of this would be the images showing the housekeeper’s legs changing positions in different images next to each other. This form of repetition along with adjustments in subject placing gives off the feeling of both time passing and motion happening.

This entry was posted in Sample Posts by Students, Spring 2017 Archive (336). Bookmark the permalink.

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