Shawn Stephens – Blog #4

Comics are having a harder and harder time finding their place among modern media. Just like McCloud points out on page 65, “In film, closure takes place continuously– twenty-four times per second, in fact– as our minds, aided by the persistence of vision, transform a series of still pictures into a story of continuous motion.” The adolescent to young adult demographic (which I would guess were the biggest consumers of comics when they were more mainstream) now more than ever, is too spoiled by the easy accessibility and marketability of video-based media to prefer comics. It feels like much less commitment to sit down and watch something than it does to sit down and read a comic book. While McCloud lists tons of interesting ways comics can capture and immerse the reader within its’ own world, I think video-based media can do most of them much better, especially with how far production methods have come since this book was written.

As an advertising method, it’s very seldom seen. Advertising funds in company’s eyes are often probably better spent creating video advertisements. Comics are less costly, but also can’t combine video and audio to grab viewers’ attention. As an art form, it’s not relevant in adolescent culture anymore, which is what I feel like would’ve been comics’ biggest appeal when they were more popular. Going to to school, hanging out with your friends and talking about comic books is probably much rarer these days, and kids growing up today would have to go out of their way not only to attain comics, but to find other people that also like comics.

I think comics have a place online as a low-commitment entertainment medium. I think, like Eroyn Franklin’s webcomics, as with any media, they have to have some kind of catch. They have to be uniquely interesting and get readers hooked right away, and they have to be more conceptually interesting than video-based media has to be since they’re less attention grabbing.

Jake Wyatt’s Necropolis takes the juxtaposition of multiple frames to paint a narrative to the next level. (Necropolis, Page 3 – Jake Wyatt)

I like Jake Wyatt’s Necropolis for its’ crazy immersive art. It also plays with the comic medium, and creates visuals that wouldn’t be as feasible in video media. I like Alison Zai’s instagram for her quirky comics. When I was way younger I used to make little forum adventures online where I would draw stories in comic form and post them online, and people would reply to them and suggest things for the character to do to control the story. I think if I were to make comics, I would want them to be interactive. I really liked that people could get invested in the story and feel like they had autonomy over the characters and narratives within them.


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