Print Versus Digital: Angela Basinger

Photo from Zits, a comic written by Jerry Scott and illustrated by Jim Borgman focused on the daily life of a 16 year old.

Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, defines comics loosely as an adaptive genre and medium. McCloud brings many conventions of traditional and modern comics to the forefront in his book, yet he acknowledges that comics cannot be confined to these styles as the genre is adapting and ever expanding. The author sees comics’ future as boundless in the digital age and encourages readers to cultivate an ever-expanding definition of comics because of this. One topic I consider most relevant in the digital age is the ability of comics to provide connections and an interactive experience. In Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud points to the unique ability of comic visuals to put the reader in the shoe’s of the character by use of less realistic depictions. In this, a comic is able to connect with readers personally the way that many other written and visual communication may not. This connection transcends cultural barriers of language and practice, allowing comics to present themselves in a universal capacity. If I were creating a comic, I would expect it to be interpreted both visually for pictures and text and interactively as the comics are sequential and “move” with a flow from start to finish. I would expect readers to put themselves in the comic as they interact with it, developing a personal connection to both the form and the content. I used this frame from a Zit’s comic as my visual as I recall this comic in the newspaper as particularly memorable and relatable, speaking to the ability of comics to make lasting connections and to provide relatable visuals to readers. Considering again the future of comics in the digital age, I can only expect them to become more interactive with more and more tools to add layers to processes of movement and form, allowing  deeper personal connections to develop as a result.


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