Print Versus Digital: Timmy Huynh

I didn’t read Scott McCloud’s Understand Comics in print, but I did read a lot of the comics in class. For me, some of those comics felt great to read because of the lamination feel of the paper. Whereas, others just felt like glorified picture books. One thing that I enjoyed no matter what the comics felt like was flipping the pages. Whenever I flip pages it is satisfying and I feel as though I have won a little victory. Another thing was the flow of reading and sequencing that McCloud talks about. The way I initially read the comics was very traditional as in reading left to right, but eventually I started seeing the pages and panels as a big picture, seeing things below and around the main panel I was on, rather than a linear reading.


This is a visual explanation of the balance between words and pictures that McCloud uses. Credit: Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud

The web comics however did have a very distant feel to them. I felt both engaged and aloof at the same time. Seeing some of the animations and scrolling and clicking through the pages and panels was satisfying and was a different experience than the physical books. But there were a lot of distractions on those pages as well. I would get an occasional ad and that brought me out of the experience and the page directories at the top were also bringing me out of the full immersion. I do see why someone may enjoy a digital comic for the aesthetic though. It seems much cleaner and smooth depending on how the comic is done. I am on the fence on whether or not I would draw a comic in digital or physical. Aesthetically I would like to print it physically because that means if someone were to read it that meant it they’re reading and involved in one hundred percent of my work. It’s something that people would be able to show off and keep more sentimentally. Its similar to how Scott talks about the show and tell and how people explain things with a physical object except this wouldn’t be in the form of comics. However, digitally would be my preference if this was my job. It seems much more practical and people all over the world would be able to read it as long as they had internet connection. I also like the incredible options available to digital comics. It would allow for more of the balance of words and pictures as Scott describes because you would essentially be capable of combining them with animations or like in Scott’s web comic The Right Number, you could do the zooming animations which makes you feel go deeper and deeper into the story. If I had to choose between the two I would lean more towards digital as I would have the option to share quickly and easily.

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