Elements and Principles: Helena Matheson

Many elements of John Lovett’s design overview are clearly demonstrated in Scott McCloud’s “Understanding Comics. The element that stuck out to me the most is shape. On pages 132-133, McCloud employs many different shapes which create a story and emphasis. In the first box on page 132, it even includes the shape and theme of a famous painting, The Scream by Edvard Munch. This spread of pages emphasizes the importance of backgrounds, and the backgrounds are full of different shapes which tell a story and increase the quality of the comic.

Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics, Pages 132-133. McCloud, S. (1994). The invisible art understanding comics. NY: HarperCollins Publishers.

The second element I noticed in the spread is gradation. Lovett described gradation as a way to move eyes from light to dark. In this spread, there is plenty of that. In the bottom left box on page 132, it appears McCloud is walking through a dark and scary forest. By the way he balanced the the black and white of the image, it gives it movement, and you can tell it is supposed to portray him walking down a path.

The third element I noticed was harmony in the bottom left box on page 133. It portrays what I believe to be McCloud on fire. This image stuck out from the rest due to the lack of contrast. The box is essentially all plain white, with McCloud surrounded by light colored flames. It creates a feel of cohesiveness and harmony within the image. Each of the elements mentioned create an exciting and visually appealing comic which draws in readers and entices them with the imagery. After reading Chapter 8 and seeing the book in color, I actually do not mind how most of the book is in black and white, as I find it less distracting and more visually appealing.



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