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Last chapter!

This is, well, pretty much what it says, it puts all the previous chapters together and reviews them, so in some ways there's not as much to discuss. Although he did a fairly good job of tying everything together and showing how it all works to make what we know as "comics"... but still, there's not too much new and astounding.

I would say though that the fact that we can't speak mind-to-mind directly isn't necessarily sad... I mean, it'd be nice to be able to when we want, but I also don't want to go around with people knowing what I think about them all the time, ya know? *cough*

I do like the idea that mastery of comics and other media is the amount of what you see in your minds eye that you can bring across to the paper/film/whatever. It's a different way to look at it, but it works.

"Understanding comics is serious business." Man, that's hard to read with a straight face, so to speak, these days. It's also weird to be reading about bringing comics into the next century, etc etc. In some ways he's a realist though, since he pegged the state of comics pretty well I thought - some of their potential is being realized, they're being seen more seriously, but there are a lot of boneheaded corporate moves still holding them back.

And I thought it was a nice touch at the very end, on the credits/bibliography page, where he calls for discussion of the topics, which hey, we're doing now! So we're doing the right thing, right? :p

And on that note: have at it!

Comments

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khedron
Oct. 1st, 2010 04:44 pm (UTC)
(Reposting comment my phone ate, as best as I can.)

S.M. certainly seems to be a fan of the "tell them what you're going to say, then say it, then tell them what you said" school of writing, huh? But that's OK, I don't really fault him for it as this seems much more like his focus is persuasion, not description. Comics are serious business, and he wants you to understand that!

I think he's wrong about comics being the best way for a single person to get their voice out and be heard. This was written a while ago now, before the public Web, blog, etc., but even so, I would think that ordinary writing would also fit the bill. But, maybe it was easier at the time in some way for comics to be self-published?

Nowadays, of course, there are many avenues for a single author to say something and have it be heard around the world.

For me, the thing comics have going for them is viscerality and compactness. Compact, because I'd rather look at a picture of a pastoral scene than read 1000 words describing it. Visceral, because I think it's possible to for images to convey content straight into your brain in a way which skips a layer of interpretation that words go through. Even ignoring the "do you really read every word?" question, the most direct writing still leaves the reader to fill in details based on their memory of the situation, or perhaps their own background. Some types of scenes can be strongly conveyed in a way that might take a lot more text to manage.

(That's not to say that writing can't be clear, or images ambiguous; I just think pictures can pack more punch for some things.)

I'd been going to say that comics aren't as good at giving you the interior monologues of the characters, getting you into their heads -- but then look at "Watchmen". You get Rorschach, Veidt, the psychiatrist... it's rich with internal perspective. So there goes that.

I do like the idea that mastery of comics and other media is the amount of what you see in your minds eye that you can bring across to the paper/film/whatever. It's a different way to look at it, but it works.

I agree.

In some ways he's a realist though, since he pegged the state of comics pretty well I thought - some of their potential is being realized, they're being seen more seriously, but there are a lot of boneheaded corporate moves still holding them back.

Say more -- what are you thinking of, here? My first thought was about the lettering on the Twilight manga, but that's probably far, far afield from where you were going.

And I thought it was a nice touch at the very end, on the credits/bibliography page, where he calls for discussion of the topics, which hey, we're doing now! So we're doing the right thing, right? :p

I saw that too! He'd be proud.
khedron
Oct. 2nd, 2010 08:32 pm (UTC)
two notes on telepathy
These occurred to me while mowing the lawn this morning:

I would say though that the fact that we can't speak mind-to-mind directly isn't necessarily sad... I mean, it'd be nice to be able to when we want, but I also don't want to go around with people knowing what I think about them all the time, ya know? *cough*

As you say, it should only be when we want -- otherwise, well, work would be a bit more troublesome.

And I guess that puts me in the Douglas Adams camp. I don't know if S.M. is a Douglas Adams fan, but you remember what he said about the Babelfish:
Meanwhile, the poor Babel fish, by effectively removing all barriers to communication between different races and cultures, has caused more and bloodier wars than anything else in the history of creation.
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