In chapter one of Understanding Comics, I learned about comics and the influence that they have over their readers because it combines both pictures and words together to create an animation. Comics can be in a book, a magazine, a strip of paper, or online. In the past, I have read comics that have been in the Sunday newspaper or in books like
Understanding Comics. I have always been a fan of print literature verse digital because I enjoy holding a physical book in my hands. I find pleasure in turning the pages and even breathing in that old book smell. The future of comics, as McCloud questions is an interesting thought because I believe that comics will become more popular as time passes because during the 21st century, comics can be bought at a high price due to their antiqueness, if sold in their original packaging. In McCloud’s book, he mentions, “or definition says nothing about superheroes or funny animals…nothing about fantasy/science-fiction or reader age…no genres are listed in our definition, no types of subject matter, no styles or prose or poetry” (22). I connected to this in the first chapter because it changed my understanding of comics. Growing up I used to think that comics were mainly about fantasy and anime but after reading McCloud’s words, I now have a better understanding of comics. Reflecting on my experience with literature, I enjoy reading because there is a slight pleasure in flipping the pages. I enjoy highlighting and writing in the novels that I read so when I am told to read literature digitally, it is harder for me to focus on what the authors are saying because I have the routine of writing down notes in books as I read. When reading literature, I am a hands-on learner so I need to have the works in front of me. While reading Understanding Comics, I have a pen and highlighter in hand so I can absorb the material better. When I read Eroyn Franklin’s web comics, I enjoyed the color that she put in her work, but I still missed the hands-on feeling of holding a book. If I were going to write or draw a comic, I would you envision people reading it in a horizontal view. When reading comics, I always read each box from left to right because that is how I read novels, then I scan down the page as I read
from left to right. The black and white picture above is an excerpt from McCloud’s book where he talks about the picture of a pipe that says “This is not a pipe” at the bottom. The claim that McCloud is trying to make is that this is a picture of a pipe, not actually a physical pipe. McCloud relates this to comics by talking about how not only the picture is a drawing of a pipe, but it is a printed copy of a pipe. By using this analogy, McCloud explains that comics are the same because comics tell a story but it takes many sections in a comic to tell a story. Comics are not animated unless the author uses symbols, color, and definition in order to tell a story. There is much more to comics that I do not fully understand yet, but McCloud’s novel has helped me begin to think about how much goes into creating comics and how they give the reader a different view than novels.