The Medium of Comics and Their Message

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Submitted By StangGT68
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Scott McCloud, author of Understanding Comics, The Invisible Art introduces three concepts in understanding the medium and construct of comics. These three concepts are the icon, closure, and panel-to-panel transitions. These concepts, introduced by McCloud are illustrated in the Japanese anime Yotsuba, created by Kiyohiko Azuma. Yotsuba follows the precocious adventures of a seriously strange kid named Yotsuba, who moves to the city with her father and manages to get herself into familiarly hilarious situations. The frames I chose deals with Yotsuba being introduced to a playground swing by a fellow student. Anime presents, through a progression of panels, how this comic illustrates the communication of information, ideas and experiences through various mediums (words, symbols, illustrations, etc). Upon analyzing this comic strip, it illustrates ways in which the medium’s message will change due to styling, point of view, framing, and closure. The artist’s use of medium reinforced the idea that the message of any piece of art, specifically comics, is not communicated solely through words, but through illustrations.
One element of Azuma’s comics that illustrate how the mediums message is communicated through illustrations is the use of the Icon. Azuma’s drawing style is simple and therefore moves itself from any possible complexity within the characters, because a style that possesses realistic images can become more objective and can remove the image from the viewer. Within the medium of comics viewer identification is an important aspect to the success of comics. Generally, the more broadly or widely recognized the icons becomes, the more "iconic" it is considered to be. McCloud’s example of this being a happy face is more iconic than a realistic portrait of a particular person. Azuma’s clean style allows the viewer to identify with the character of the…...

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