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ClockHand
11-23-2011, 11:37 PM
This is the comic/manga thread of MT, in here we are not going to discuss the newest comic/manga (lets just say comic), what is happening in our favorite comics or what comic would you recommend to others. In here we are going to discuss the technical, methodological and theoretic aspects of making a comic; we are going to discuss why manga's read from right to left, or what is the most important technical aspect in a comic and many other interesting subjects (at least for the people who want to make comics).

Let's pull the first subject of discussion, should we read comics from left to right or from right to left?

Let's begin this shit!!!

Hayashida
11-23-2011, 11:44 PM
Uh well in the west we read left to right because that's how our language is written out. In Japan it's written the opposite, right to left, so naturally their books would read that way as well. When they're translated it would be pointless to try and move the panels so they'd be read from left to right anyway.

GunZet
11-23-2011, 11:44 PM
That first subject really depends on the reading format of a culture, or the one you're trying to emulate.

Bacon_Barbarian
11-23-2011, 11:45 PM
Depends on the language the comic was originally written in. So pretty much what Hayashida is saying.

ClockHand
11-23-2011, 11:57 PM
I agree, the origin was because their culture made the format, but also think about it: when you read from right to left, you are using your right side of the brain, which is the sensitive, creative and philosophic one and the best to process images in a sensitive way. I never thought about this until I watch a interview of a comic guru from here who explained this.

Think about it, when you read from right to left you are traveling for each panel in a different way than when you read them from left to right, your brain process images in a different way and so the dialogues. As using the right side you are more sensitive, you get subliminal messages way faster and you can be more controlled by certain patterns. Example: Blame!, do you think you would have the same feeling in Blame! if you read it from left to right? I don't think so, because the sequence its made to attack your sensibility, the images and so the continuity.

So now what? Of course if we stay in the idea that "its just cultural" we are not going to discuss anything, but if we think about it, we read (our brain reads) in a completely different way a comic than a manga.

Black_Shaggie
11-24-2011, 12:01 AM
Yeah, I'd have to agree with everyone else. Besides, if the work is good (and properly translated) the reader more than likely won't even notice which direction they're reading because the art should convey more of story than what's in the word bubbles in my opinon. Not to say that the script isn't an important element. But anyone who calls themselves a comic/ manga artist should at least know how to tell a story with images & not have to rely so much on dialouge to tell they story. If the artist can do this, then it really doesn't matter which direction the comic/manga is read in because the images move the story more than the dialouge and the reader would more than likely forget that they're reading from right to left or left to right because they've become engrossed into the story itself.

ram
11-24-2011, 12:18 AM
I have my manga from right to left, Well I guess it's just more fun that way, I don't know about it but I guess I just prefer reading manga from right to left rather than left to right somehow.

So I chosen right to left, Well I guess it doesn't really matter cause I did made it in mangastudio where it's easy to move the pannels.

people should just pay attention of how the story goes from each pannel as such.
http://i1225.photobucket.com/albums/ee388/skyramiel/d.jpg

you can't make a scene like the top one where it's read from left to right, it'll be confusing, It's not just the words that being read inside the comic/manga, it's the whole page that's being read so it's not really important if your a japanese or an american, If you can't make a good scene by scene pannel using left to right why would you stick with it?

on another note, shouldn't this thread belong to somewhere else

Hayashida
11-24-2011, 12:20 AM
when you read from right to left, you are using your right side of the brain, which is the sensitive, creative and philosophic one and the best to process images in a sensitive way.
Can you cite a source for this information

ClockHand
11-24-2011, 12:26 AM
I can gave his "name", I have tried to find the interview on the internet but I have no luck at the moment (I will keep searching because the guy blew my mind with the stuffs he said).

It's named Doctor Zombie (for real, is his artistic name).

ram@ No, this is for real discussions, so I prefer it here.

Also, about page composition, don't jump to it so fast I want to left that for later (we can't jump to there if we don't see the different points in this part).

Hayashida
11-24-2011, 12:28 AM
Well that's all well and good, but what I want to know is where he got that information from. Whether it was proved scientifically or not.

ClockHand
11-24-2011, 12:31 AM
I don't know and I would like to know that to. But I trust him, not because he knows a lot, but because he studied communications and in here that career force their students to know how the brain operate with images and dialogues (I had teachers that had studied that and its pretty cool).

Hayashida
11-24-2011, 12:32 AM
I see. Well it would be interesting to know if what he says is actually true or not.

ClockHand
11-24-2011, 12:42 AM
I know, and its the sad part of his argument (and what I'm trying to point here), but do the exercise and tell me that you didn't work the reading in a different way.

And even if its just a hypothesis, think about it, if its true how we should have to read comics from now on?

Hayashida
11-24-2011, 12:44 AM
Even if it is true, (which I don't think it is since we don't use "halves" of our brains. We use various parts for different purposes) we wouldn't change the way we read things. We've been reading left to right for too long to just suddenly change it because we might get a bit more emotional about a comic.

ram
11-24-2011, 12:51 AM
Lol I have mine mixed, I've read tons of left to right and right to left and sometimes when some new chapter came out I usually get confused.

ClockHand
11-24-2011, 12:51 AM
Even if it is true, (which I don't think it is since we don't use "halves" of our brains. We use various parts for different purposes) we wouldn't change the way we read things. We've been reading left to right for too long to just suddenly change it because we might get a bit more emotional about a comic.

First, yes we don't use our entire brain, but if you see brain lectures you can know that when a person face different stimulus, different sections of the brain start working. This "lectures" have reached to point that you can know if a person is addicted to something, it has a preference to something and even more if they are being creative (their right side of the brain become more active) or if he is doing a rational analysis (the left side of the brain become more active). Even more, did you know that Da Vinci use to write from right to left to work the right side of his brain (and this was has been proved)? There are books about using different parts of the brain for different operations, you can't say "we don't use half our brain so I don't think so", because we use certain hemispheres for different problems and stimulus, so it's not crazy to think that reading from right to left is different than reading from left to right.

If we have read for to long to left to right, then the change is bigger, we are facing something new and different, and if we use our brain differently then its a big and amazing change in the reading process.

Hayashida
11-24-2011, 12:56 AM
If your opinion is true that would be great but I still need to see tangible evidence before I completely agree with you.

ClockHand
11-24-2011, 01:01 AM
I know, that is the weak part of my point (still I could show you other studies about the right use of the brain, but I have nothing directly related to comics), but let's accept the hypothesis, and so face this problem of reading from left to right or right to left for this perspective.

I really don't consider this crazy, and I think it has a lot of sense, we use our left side for rational thoughts, it has been proved. And it has been proved that doing actions in a different direction (let's say write) it also affect our brain. So if the way we read comics is different depending on the direction, should we be forced to chose left to right or right to left depending on what kind of hemisphere of the brain we want our readers to use?

Again, this question can only born by accepting the previews statement, and as there is no direct prove, we have to face is as theoretical.

Hayashida
11-24-2011, 01:07 AM
I think if this hypothesis became a generally well known idea, comic artists may choose to start making their comics read right to left and if the response becomes positive, more and more people may pick up on this idea. It definitely wouldn't and couldn't happen overnight. It would be a slow, gradual process. Eventually we could see comics and stories being told from right to left.

ClockHand
11-24-2011, 01:15 AM
I know, and that is crazy. Because for first time we could be facing a completely new way to understand the "how we read" and how we are affected by how we read.

And I don't think is crazy because even the hemispheres of the brain are related to the hemispheres of our body. If we use the right hand we are using the right side of our brain.

That's why I love this idea so much, even if hasn't been proved by direct studies, because it make this discussion way more tasty than just ending it in "its cultural", because maybe it's not.

Let put some studies:
http://www.anthonyhempell.com/papers/tetrad/visual.html
http://www.giftedservices.com.au/visualthinking.html
http://www.arty4ever.com/right/brain.htm
http://painting.about.com/od/rightleftbrain/a/Right_Brain.htm

Celestial-Fox
11-24-2011, 07:27 PM
From what I've been informed by numerous Film students, the ease with which someone views a scene in film is dependent on which direction the viewer is used to reading in. (That is, movement from RTL in a native LTR reader would make them uncomfortable because they are unused to acquiring new information this way.) Somehow I think that the same would apply for comics--?

ram
11-24-2011, 07:38 PM
I'm not so sure of how comics would go. I've only seen western paneling style of Left to right, I think it would be weird to see one in right to left,

If it's manga or OEL manga then the panneling style would be weird if it's left to right, I've seen tons of OEL manga that's left to right and I don't think I liked it that much, I don't know maybe it's just me.

Inksprout
11-24-2011, 07:42 PM
I know, that is the weak part of my point (still I could show you other studies about the right use of the brain, but I have nothing directly related to comics), but let's accept the hypothesis, and so face this problem of reading from left to right or right to left for this perspective.

I really don't consider this crazy, and I think it has a lot of sense, we use our left side for rational thoughts, it has been proved. And it has been proved that doing actions in a different direction (let's say write) it also affect our brain. So if the way we read comics is different depending on the direction, should we be forced to chose left to right or right to left depending on what kind of hemisphere of the brain we want our readers to use?

Again, this question can only born by accepting the previews statement, and as there is no direct prove, we have to face is as theoretical.


If I am remembering correctly the parts of the brain responsible for speach and reading are in the left hemisphere of the brain. Thats a fact which has been researched, so it doesn't matter which direction we read in, its always being processed by the same part of the brain. Same with the actual process of sight, what you see is always being processed by the same parts of your brain unless there is actually something wrong/different with your brain. When people are talking about left vs right brain they are talking more about how we think than which part of the brain we are using for the specific task. For example if you are reading a text book on physics you're using the one part of your brain to read, but you are thinking about the information in a logical fashion and using your 'left brain' which is more focused on logic. Reading poetry is still using the same part of the brain as before for the reading but to imagine the imagery you're probably going to be thinking about it with your 'right brain'.

To that end I don't think reading in one direction or the other isn't really related to deeper brain functions. Its simply a matter of familiarity. We're trained to read left to right so when we read right to left its harder to do because was keep looking at the wrong end of the page, reading a bit and then realising we're doing it wrong. It feels uncomfortable to read because for most of us reading is second nature, but reading something which is backwards or upside down forces us to consiously think about how we are reading, something we wouldn't normally do.

ClockHand
11-24-2011, 07:48 PM
From what I've been informed by numerous Film students, the ease with which someone views a scene in film is dependent on which direction the viewer is used to reading in. (That is, movement from RTL in a native LTR reader would make them uncomfortable because they are unused to acquiring new information this way.) Somehow I think that the same would apply for comics--?

I'm confused, are you talking about the scene or about the translation of scenes? Because there are axis of actions on every scene, and yes the perception of the direction might change depending on the person (even if the director say the axis to X direction), but in comics we see things between scene to scene, so is not the scene what's matter it's the sample of the scenes.

I don't know if I'm making my self clear, neither I see your point clear (because I don't know if you are talking about the scene or the scenes).

But I don't know how we should apply it for comics, because you have the scene to scene pretty clear (ltr or rtl), and it tells the reader how to read, in which point in comics this is more forceful than in movies (so if you use your left side of your brain and you must read using it right you can't chose).



I'm not so sure of how comics would go. I've only seen western paneling style of Left to right, I think it would be weird to see one in right to left,

If it's manga or OEL manga then the paneling style would be weird if it's left to right, I've seen tons of OEL manga that's left to right and I don't think I liked it that much, I don't know maybe it's just me.

Well thats kinda jump to another point but principally the fault of that are the axis of action in the panel. The mangas are made with a mentality of RTL, so the axis of direction goes with that format. When you change the format but not the action axis you are just screwing the reader (this kinda prove that we use different hemispheres of our brain for this).

Which bring another point, if we agree with this idea that RTL and LTR are related to different hemisphere of our brain, how we should approach them to avoid noise, like in this example: Action Axis.



If I am remembering correctly the parts of the brain responsible for speach and reading are in the left hemisphere of the brain. Thats a fact which has been researched, so it doesn't matter which direction we read in, its always being processed by the same part of the brain. Same with the actual process of sight, what you see is always being processed by the same parts of your brain unless there is actually something wrong/different with your brain. When people are talking about left vs right brain they are talking more about how we think than which part of the brain we are using for the specific task. For example if you are reading a text book on physics you're using the one part of your brain to read, but you are thinking about the information in a logical fashion and using your 'left brain' which is more focused on logic. Reading poetry is still using the same part of the brain as before for the reading but to imagine the imagery you're probably going to be thinking about it with your 'right brain'.

To that end I don't think reading in one direction or the other isn't really related to deeper brain functions. Its simply a matter of familiarity. We're trained to read left to right so when we read right to left its harder to do because was keep looking at the wrong end of the page, reading a bit and then realising we're doing it wrong. It feels uncomfortable to read because for most of us reading is second nature, but reading something which is backwards or upside down forces us to consiously think about how we are reading, something we wouldn't normally do.

But aren't you stepping on your own argument? You said I'm going to read always with the same part of my brain, but you also said that depending what I'm reading will affect other hemispheres of my brain (in the figurative speech of right vs left). So the direction of action can or can't create a influence in the part of the brain we are using? Yes we will be reading using the same part, but also we are being manipulated and this kind of exercise do affect our brain (like write from right to left).

Inksprout
11-24-2011, 08:02 PM
Perhaps the direction you are recieving the information in makes a slight difference buit I seriously doubt it. The type of information being looked at makes much more of a difference then how it is set out. I'm saying whether you are thinking about what you read more with your right or left brain is not related at all to the direction you read in, I'm saying that the only things that effect how you're thinking about what you read is what you're actually reading, and how you choose to think about it. Regardless of RTL or LFT looking at a comic is always going to involve more right brain thinking than reading a novel.

Also what I mean is there is a difference between the act of reading and the act of thinking about what you are reading. Actually reading uses very specific parts on the left side of the brain, without them you literally couldn't read. THINKING about what you read on the other hand can use many different parts of the brain and depends on what you're looking at. RTL or LTR may influence how you think about it, in so far as you have to think more consciously about the act or reading. I am skeptical that it could influence you on any deeper level than that though, because I don't see how the direction its written can control the way your brain percieves it.

Visually your eyesight is split evenly, one eye sends info to one half of the brain and one eye sends info to the other. Its an even split so at a basic level you can't say that writting one way or the other will cause more info to go to one half of the brain.

ClockHand
11-24-2011, 08:22 PM
Perhaps the direction you are recieving the information in makes a slight difference but I seriously doubt it. The type of information being looked at makes much more of a difference then how it is set out. I'm saying whether you are thinking about what you read more with your right or left brain is not related at all to the direction you read in, I'm saying that the only things that effect how you're thinking about what you read is what you're actually reading, and how you choose to think about it.

Then you would say there is no such thing as subliminal messages. Because as I see this it can be a subliminal way to tell the reader with which part of the brain to think what is going on. I'm not saying you literally use your other part of your brain to read, I'm saying that the direction of lecture can work as a subliminal guide.


Regardless of RTL or LFT looking at a comic is always going to involve more right brain thinking than reading a novel.

Well, depend on the comic, and I believe a lot of comic readers are going to differ with you, specially because a lot of novels have been downgraded and some comics can have exceptional art or have complex and rational dialogues.


Also what I mean is there is a difference between the act of reading and the act of thinking about what you are reading. Actually reading uses very specific parts on the left side of the brain, without them you literally couldn't read. THINKING about what you read on the other hand can use many different parts of the brain and depends on what you're looking at. RTL or LTR may influence how you think about it, in so far as you have to think more consciously about the act or reading. I am skeptical that it could influence you on any deeper level than that though, because I don't see how the direction its written can control the way your brain percieves it.

I agree with the fact that you use a specific part of your brain, my point goes to subliminal guidance. And I'm not skeptical of that because it has been done and it can be done.

You have to also understand that a comic are images and dialogues, it has a write part and a visual part and both are read in different ways. If the sequences of the events goes to certain direction I think it can create a subliminal guidance.

Sylux
11-27-2011, 12:47 AM
Clock is on to something huge, guys. Ill use a video game analogy to express this since its all I know. When developing a horror game, you include elements of familiarity at times, and uncertainty most others. This encompasses direction of puzzle, map, and direction of hostile entity entry. You may not have noticed this, but have you ever wondered why the Thresher Maw in Mass Effect (1 only) is so terrifying? Its entry point is unknown, which is obvious. But, in the game Amnesia, the monsters' entry points in the "tutorial" level is always obvious. Later on, they literally come barreling out of the dark of a hallway from thin fucking air. If we read a comic in a familiar fashion, we will feel more comfortable with our method and focus more on immersion and entertainment. If we read it in an unfamiliar way, we are more prone to criticize and say wat do idk whass going on or we become more aware of everything in the comic.

Blue_Dragon
11-30-2011, 03:17 PM
I'm wondering, though, if you can't teach yourself to be "ambidextrous" in a way. I mean, I have no problem reading my comics either way. When I started, it was a little difficult to read right to left, but now it's not hard to flip back and forth. Granted, if the words were written right to left, I think I would have trouble.

.way this read to had I if And .this like wrote I If

Or even worse, if it was a mirror image, I would have trouble. But I think just having the images read "backwards" to what I'm used to hasn't been too hard to learn or comprehend. I think this study would be neat to do with the words opposite of what one's used to :)

ClockHand
12-02-2011, 11:51 PM
Ok, the discussion has dried so here I come with a new technical discussion in comic books.

How do you prefer paneling in pages? Do you like it traditional, each panel separated? or Do you like it mixed, characters popping up from panels and no panels?

Examples:
Classic.
http://s4.hubimg.com/u/71299_f520.jpg

Modern.
http://i18.mangareader.net/tenjo-tenge/117/tenjo-tenge-789072.jpg

Obviously this discussion should go further than "I like that one", but explain why do you like and why do you consider it more proper to work on.

Black_Shaggie
12-03-2011, 10:27 AM
I'm partial to the 'classic' composition but only because most of the stuff that I've done over the years was western style comics and that's what I've seen done. The 'modern' composition [to me] actually works better for me now that I'm begining to get the general idea of mangaka (at least shounen). The 'modern' composition tends to be more expressive in my opinion and it allows for the artitist to be more expressive, allthough it's just as structured as the 'classic'.

Earlier this year, I did a book with a 'classic' composition in a western style because my art team wanted to do what they precieved as a 'traditional' book. My team actually bailed on me in the end & friendships were ruined as a result...getting of subject here...BUT because of the writer's script, I allways felt that it would've been better using a modern composition due to the visual gaps in his writing. It's in my gallery in an album labled Oylmpian Demesne & it sucks. The publisher has shelfed it but I get a chance to redeem myself & I plan on using a modern composition (a more mangaka feel to it) when I do.

Here's a page I did in what I'd consider a classic composition:
http://www.mangatutorials.com/file/pic/photo/2011/07/Black_Shaggie-od-final-page-2-29.png?t=4eda3f02c796c

...and here's another in the same book I did in a modern composition:
http://www.mangatutorials.com/file/pic/photo/2011/07/Black_Shaggie-od-final-page-7-8.png?t=4eda3f84362e1

Like I said, my art team bailed on me & I had to get it done...so it's really awful. I hate it actually...

Bottom line, I guess it depends on the work you're doing and what type of feeling you're going for. I've seen western comics & manga both done with either composition & they seem to work for those books. But, as I said above, I'm partial to the modern compostion these days.

ram
12-03-2011, 12:33 PM
@Clock I do preffer the modern, Don't understand but now I'm getting now what your saying about right to left being better!

It's how my eye moves or maybe not.... I JUST CAN'T SEEM TO GET IT AT ALL!!
maybe it's the shounen type of panneling that's making it better, you know the spacing on panneling seems to be good than the classic.

ClockHand
12-03-2011, 03:23 PM
My point with RtL or LtR was never to point one better than the other, but to open the discussion of those in further arguments that are not focused only in culture, but also that those can have a meaning and a proposal; a way to make people discuss them selfs the subject.

Now with page composition, I don't see one better than the other, both have their strong points and their weak points, but I want to bring to discussion the "how we read"(continuing the previews subject).

In the classical panel format of paneling the sequences work as a tempo manager. Biggest frames represent: A) something with relevance and B) something with a extended period of time. While the space between panels represent the time between the panels (which are understood as events).

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_1U_33aZtyps/TH6alNWiHNI/AAAAAAAAATc/gz_B_qmnnoY/s1600/CARILLA1_DMV.jpg

In the following comic page we see: Panel 1 is big, which mean it has a relevance, in this case of context, also provide a tempo longer than other panels. In Panel 2 the size is smaller which mean its relevance is less and also the time inside it. In Panel 3 is even smaller, which mean its relevance is just to show the driver. In Panel 4 we have a knife with blood(important) with a size of 1/6 of the page and finally between page 4 and 5 we have a bigger space, which mean there was a bigger frame of time between both events (is not big like a hour big, but is big enough to make us think that it didn't happened immediately). In panel 5 we see the knife being holden on the rain.

Now, we can understand this comic, without even read the dialogues, all thanks to the paneling. We see in the Panel 1 and 2 a car (we presume is the same car as no one have showed us another), there is no arm holding a knife coming from the car, so the knife was only pulled out of the car in the Panel 5. In Panel 3 we see a driver and he doesn't seem to be holding the knife, which mean he wasn't the killer (we presume there is a killer by the fact that there is a dead guy, people and a murder weapon) but as its the only car in it and the killer is obviously in the car, the driver is involved in this. Then in Panel 4 and 5 we see the knife that in Panel 5 is pulled out of the car, and to make it more tasty to read they put a Panel that is over Panel 3 and Panel 5, which mean that is something that happened between those panels, and it show us a dead guy, which we will believe it was killed with the knife at the end on Panel 3, Panel 4 was to prove that the knife was the murder weapon and panel 5 was to prove that the murder weapon was pulled out of the car. And this will help to make sense to a next page were the knife might be dropped out of the car, it would make completely sense, and we just understood the whole event of that page without even reading the dialogues, only understanding the paneling, aren't comic books amazing?

But now lets see a "modern" way of paneling.


http://i18.mangareader.net/tenjo-tenge/117/tenjo-tenge-789072.jpg

And now lets dismember this.

Panel 1 is big (like 1/3 of the page) and show us an eye, we presume by our same logic that this has relevance and have a longer tempo. In Panel 2 we see a samurai armor, and is also big compared to a normal panel so we will presume it has some kind of relevance. In Panel 3 is small, very small, and we see the face of a character who is not the same that the one of the first panel as we can see by their attributes. In Panel 4 we have very small panel with a shading something (I don't know how to say it). Then we don't have a panel actually (its a panel in some sense) and only show us a character (the one of panel 3). And finally we have Panel 5 with the foot of the character.

Immediately we face a completely different logic; the armor, eye and foot doesn't make any logical sense, and this is because it has a different sensitivity. It work in a symbolic level, where eyes represent a character looking something (not just looking but watching carefully, with a high intention), the armor has no sense at all, probably its used a symbol of conflict, but this could be told without the armor. The small panels with the face and shades are representations for the individualism, specially to say that the character is having a monologue. The character without panel is to represent complete individualism in the monologue and finally the foots are to testify the dialogue.

As we see, in this "modern" way of paneling, we are not telling the story through showing what is happening, but its a testify of the dialogues. Now, this "modern" example is bad, because there are great works on it, and this is pretty lame (you see that some panels doesn't make sense, the tempo doesn't make sense, and its to focused on monologues). But lets see one that does it awesomely.

http://i995.mangareader.net/the-breaker-new-waves/50/the-breaker-new-waves-2851849.jpg
I'm not going to say how to read it, you guys should read it and see how is working.

But this problem of doing bad panelings is not just from "modern"paneling, its also for the "classic", as a prove, lets see this one:
http://s4.hubimg.com/u/71299_f520.jpg
If you guys read the tempos, you will see it has a lack on the sensitive and continuity of those.

Then how should we paneling our pages? Should we focus on the use of panels constantly? or should we break them constantly? Should we use image to testify dialogues? or Images to tell the story? And which one do you prefer?

Finally I think that every person who want to "do comics" needs to read Sandman of Gaiman. Its one of the comics that use paneling composition in a bold but smart way and is also one of the greatest stories on comic books.

http://www.goodnightcircle.com/sites/cyborg1/usercontent/sandman3.jpg

Matt
12-04-2011, 08:25 AM
Then how should we paneling our pages? Should we focus on the use of panels constantly? or should we break them constantly? Should we use image to testify dialogues? or Images to tell the story? And which one do you prefer?
In Making Comics, by Scott McCloud, it is said that pictures and words ideally work together on equal levels, but that deviations are acceptable as long as they make sense. Tenjo Tenge was a manga with amazing pictures and what could be a good story. I can't tell because, like you said, nothing makes sense. The characters are fighting people over some kind of Japanese Dragonborn and a ceremonial sword.

I've always applied equality of words and pictures in my comics because I've simply never come across a concept that could be better explained with more words and less pictures or more pictures and less words. If I do come across such a concept, I'd be better off writing either a novel with some illustrations or an art book with some words.

About the use of panels, I prefer them and will leave a panel out only for the sake of greater immersion. As stated in Making Comics, a large, borderless picture will draw the reader in and blend in with the real world (so to speak). These types of shots are effective for establishing shots, especially at a point when not much is going on. You wouldn't waste hours looking over a shot of the bad guys' castle while the heroes are already charging in, correct?

I'd use borderless, "modern" panels for long, important establishing shots; bordered panels for less important, faster establishing shots; large, borderless panels for important, drawn-out fights/deaths/heroic moments/etc. (to achieve the same effect as slow-motion in cinema); small, bordered panels for quick shots of one shot in many of a fight sequence.

ClockHand
12-05-2011, 01:58 PM
What does it mean equal level? We could say that Tenjo Tenge works each image in a equal level, ones that cares more about sensibility than telling a story, while Sin City cares more about telling a story than sensibility. With this I'm trying to say that both cases work paneling and dialogues in different ways, so how could we say which one work it more equal? Even more the way you read each one is completely different, which mean dialogues and image do have a importance on the story.

What does mean dialogues and panels working in equal levels? Does it mean they both have to tell the story? Does it mean they can't work the story telling be separated? Does it mean I have to use a equal amount of dialogues to panels used? Do it have to use the same "quality" in my dialogues than in my panels?

What does "equal level" means?

Matt
12-05-2011, 05:24 PM
By "equal level" I just meant that the images and the words should balance each other out; that neither should overwhelm the other. I returned that book a week or so ago, so I don't remember exactly what McCloud said in conclusion, but I definitely recommend that book.

To me, Tenjo Tenge is a well-drawn, guro/ecchi art book. I lost the story in an early chapter and the characters, aside from aesthetic appeal, were all subpar. If Oh! Great would have stepped back from his art and put more thought into the story and characters, he could have had one of the best mangas in the world. Often, I find that a manga rarely has both good art and good story. There's always an obvious leaning to one side. Even when artists and writers collaborate, one of them is nearly always left in the dust (see To Love-Ru and its pseudo-hentai sequel).

^ I'm just rambling. There was a point in there somewhere, so I'll leave it up.


As for your second paragraph, McCloud explained that in detail. The gist of it was this: in an example, he had a dialog balloon containing the text:

"I'm so happy for you!"

Beside that balloon, he had a drawing of a woman crying while talking on the phone. He explained that without the picture, we wouldn't know she was lying, and without the words, we would assume she was telling a friend her dog died or something.

Comics combine pictures and words for a reason. In general, both must work together in order to achieve a good result. When both work together correctly, we get our Watchmen and our Rurouni Kenshins.

ClockHand
12-06-2011, 12:50 AM
My problem with the concept of "equal levels" can be explained with movies; movies follow the same principles than comics, they are composed by 2 features: sound (in the case of comics writing) and image (image represented in movement). Some times we add a third, writing.

But there are movies without dialogues or with a lack of it (Enter The Void, it does have dialogues, but the whole narrative is through images), and at the same time movies that work under the dialogues (Waking Life, it does show you many things, but the story goes around dialogues). These movies breaks the concept of "equal level", they chose a feature to lead the narrative, while the other is just a plus for the movie, and this problem can also be translated to comics where we have cases like Blame! where the image rules over dialogues, or Hunter x Hunter where dialogues rule over images, and neither of both are bad or less-good comics than one that work with its features in a "equal level".

Following the examples I used for comics, let's see Blame!. Blame!, as my personal opinion, is not a comic for beginners, the whole story is built on image, there are dialogues, but the dialogues are a plus. The whole comic works to create immersion, and follows a very defined tempo in the events that never stop to entertain us, specially with the big structures that create a empty in the space.

http://img26.imageshack.us/img26/3043/blame2192193.jpg

But we also have comics like Hunter x Hunter, where everything works under the dialogues, characters create constant judgment of the events and other characters building images through writing art. It doesn't follow a law of immersion, it follows a line of conflict, constant conflict, constant points and views, quiet different than Blame!.

Neither of those are bad, and they tell the story in different ways, and yes, Hunter x Hunter could work a line of conflict with just images and so Blame! could work a immersion with just dialogues, but they didn't, they choose to hold one feature and exploit it. They could easily work everything in "equal level", but does it matter?


We need more people in this thread. Come on guys, there are plenty of people in MT who want to do comics and dream to be mangakas (JAJAJA), this thread should be of the taste of all.

Matt
12-15-2011, 03:21 PM
I find myself agreeing with you. Good comics can be heavy on story or on art, but if there is less of one, the other has to convey more as a result. Allow me to rephrase my "equal level" thing: balance. Not the kind you could put on a scale, because a traditional scale would make no sense. If that doesn't make enough sense, I'll try and elaborate later, but I've gotta go in thirty seconds.

I agree with you wholeheartedly, what more can we discuss? Do you have another topic in mind? I love talking about comic theory, since I can't find it anywhere else on the Internet.

Celestial-Fox
12-15-2011, 03:51 PM
In general, both must work together in order to achieve a good result. When both work together correctly, we get our Watchmen and our Rurouni Kenshins.
Unpopular opinion: Watchmen's format worked only while it was a serial, rather than in a compilation.

(see also : [i]The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)

jubeh
12-15-2011, 04:00 PM
Please elaborate

Celestial-Fox
12-15-2011, 04:03 PM
Not the format of the comic-comic itself, but the buttends of them with WALLS OF TEEEEXT.

I mean, obviously they had some good information in it, but when you do a sit-down to read the thing in its entirety at once, it's a little overwhelming. However, when it was being published as a serial in its first run, it makes perfect sense to have a brick of information at the end of each issue in order to keep people busy/thinking until the other one came out.

I don't know; it just comes out kinda clunky in my opinion when you try to squish all of them together, though.

jubeh
12-15-2011, 04:04 PM
ic

ClockHand
12-15-2011, 05:16 PM
I find myself agreeing with you. Good comics can be heavy on story or on art, but if there is less of one, the other has to convey more as a result. Allow me to rephrase my "equal level" thing: balance. Not the kind you could put on a scale, because a traditional scale would make no sense. If that doesn't make enough sense, I'll try and elaborate later, but I've gotta go in thirty seconds.

Both, art and writing, should be important, and we agree, not in equal level, but in balance, even if one have to be the side-kick of the other. But not let state again the problem of the tempo, while we read comics there is a tempo in pictures and between pictures, and this makes a problem in both dialogues and images, as I pointed some artists break the tempo between images, doing images in super position above others, while other do the same with dialogues. We are in a moment of deconstruction (we have always been deconstructing comics, but now I think we are going a little to far) and the problem of image vs dialogue become bigger when we are nos placing things correctly.

Think about this problem as in watching a movie, you see a close up of a character, and then a scene of actions and you only listen someone talk in that moment of action. Tell me that something is not off? Of course in comics there are bubbles with dialogues that tell you who says what, but aren't we being a little to confident with that?


I agree with you wholeheartedly, what more can we discuss? Do you have another topic in mind? I love talking about comic theory, since I can't find it anywhere else on the Internet.

I though this thread was dead. Almost no one really care about discussing comics (only about dreaming to be mangakas jajajaja). So cool that you like it, and yeah there are not many places to discuss this, reason why I did it.


Not the format of the comic-comic itself, but the buttends of them with WALLS OF TEEEEXT.

I mean, obviously they had some good information in it, but when you do a sit-down to read the thing in its entirety at once, it's a little overwhelming. However, when it was being published as a serial in its first run, it makes perfect sense to have a brick of information at the end of each issue in order to keep people busy/thinking until the other one came out.

I don't know; it just comes out kinda clunky in my opinion when you try to squish all of them together, though.

Don't know, I read it entirely at once and I repeated it. But you are right, its not very appealing when the comic is a text wall and neither when is pure image, reason why I believe this kind of comics are for the people who already read comics. Quiet hard to jump from nothing to Watchmen. It's like in movies, if you don't watch too many movies and you took the decision to watch Melancholia of Lars von Trier, you probably are not going to enjoy most of the movie, and the whole experience is going to be a little confusing.

And its also a big problem, the serialization format versus the volume format. But I think artists and writers are getting more conscious about this and are doing the comics with the hope to become volumes. Example: Ex Machina from Brian K. Vaughan and Tony Harris, it was made as a series of comics in a beginning, but they also launch it in volumes and in extended tomes, and trust me, the work on that comic is amazing (I love both, Brian is a great writer and Tony is a great artist, I think it's one of the best team ever).

ClockHand
01-02-2012, 06:29 PM
After weeks of dead, lets bring another subject.

In media Res (into the middle of things).

This is not a problem, but a decision made by writers to hook their readers, bringing the action the fastest as possible. The real deal about this is the dead of the introduction. How many comics have you read were the story begins in the Call to Adventure? (that magical moment where the monotony of the reality breaks and something magic or gigantic happens). And how many of those comics really have a introduction?

It seems they do have a introduction, they normally have a monologue of the main character doing a rant on how lame his life is, or it shows how monotonous is. But then just at the end of the first chapter somethings happens that hooks the reader to the story. Now, this is not a problem, but now it look like it is because more and more kids want this hook to happen the quickest as possible, without thinking in the introduction, in making the story grow a little before it happens.

This hurts the market and hurt writers who are forced to let the introduction die so their comic might live.

Then what is going to happen now? how are we going to deal with this every time we start writing our stories? Are we doomed to work always in a constant in media res or sacrifice the introduction to just one chapter?

Matt
01-03-2012, 04:19 PM
EDIT: This is a very long post. TL;DR: skip to the bold stuff.

I don't want to see every book starting in medias res, but it's a powerful tool when done right. We're here to discuss, though. So here's some thoughts:

Fallout: New Vegas is a perfect example of doing it wrong. You are treated to an intro cutscene where your character is shot in the head from first person and is barely saved, but has amnesia. Now, this is all right so far, but as you get farther into the game, you start to realize that you're never gonna learn about your past. A proper act 1 is completely skipped. Yes, it's an open-world role-playing game where you're supposed to define who your character is. But didn't Fallout 3 do that with a proper act 1? Its introduction was suitably long, extending from your birth to your early adulthood.

Yes, this is a comic discussion thread. The next example is a bit better:

In the other corner, we have The Emperor's New Groove. Your parents sit you in front of the TV, skip through the previews, and BAM. There's the emperor: A sad llama lying under a leaf in the rain. He says he's actually the emperor, and you wonder, why is the emperor a llama? Why is the llama talking? Why is he alone in the rain looking sad? Only after that little cut does the movie zip back and show you the emperor's high and mighty lifestyle. Everything he wants is provided, everybody serves him, he has a guy thrown out a window for "throwing off his groove," and in a hyperbolic moment, somebody moves his jaw up and down for him because he doesn't want to chew his own food.. This guy is spoiled to the core. We know that something awaits him to throw off this lifestyle (granted: it's aimed at younger audiences and is fairly obvious) and we know where he got it. Great.

As a slightly more mature example, there's Higurashi. You double-click the file after seeing a few pictures and aren't quite sure what to expect. Some were cute and some were disturbingly gory. The first thing you see after the date being typed with a typewriter is a boy beating two young girls to death (okay, they were already dead, but he killed them) with an aluminum bat. You see blood splattering on the walls and bones snapping. You know that terrible things happen in this show. THEN, it cuts away and everything's all cutesy and happy. Personally, I would have waited and showed the murder scene later, since I like to set a reader's expectations and then slowly provide evidence suggesting they're wrong up until the call to adventure, but that's just me. The first scene in Higurashi sets the mood for the entire series. Every following arc ends in total disaster and despair, always starting out from a cutesy, innocent point.

-

I always feel like I have to have examples for some reason. Anyway, I've never seen an act 1 condensed into a page, panel, or even a single dialog box that I liked. A story just doesn't feel right without a first act. I played through all of Fallout 3 and dropped New Vegas after completing the tutorial missions, and at that point I didn't even know why I did either. Fallout 3 compelled me. New Vegas did not. A strong introduction, I believe, is imperative to creating a compelling story. Yeah, we all want to get into the meaty stuff: explosions, car chases, sex scenes, sword fights, etc. But how can we appreciate that stuff if we don't know the context for it? A picture of a girl in a guillotine plays with the viewer's emotions and makes them wonder, but ultimately, it would be more memorable if we knew why she was there, if she could possibly be saved, who else was involved, where it was taking place, who was benefiting from her death, who wasn't. If we're never told, we leave feeling dissatisfied.

Now that my position is clear, on to answering your questions:

1. What happens now?
Comics will continue to cut intros, avant-garde indie writers like you and I will have our own separate fanbase, albeit smaller, no doubt. Then we'll experience a surge of popularity, much like the current indie game market, and comics will see another period of satisfying intros and properly handled medias res. This tends to happen a lot in various industries. It's a cycle of:

Learning -> Knowledge -> Application -> Stagnation
Stagnation <- Application <- Knowledge <- Learning

Learn from history or be doomed to repeat it. Well, we learn from some things while we don't even imagine what we're letting happen by not applying that knowledge to everything.

2. How are we going to deal with this whenever we start our stories?
Whatever the story and medium calls for. I've written both in medias res and standard 3-act progression and never had a problem with either (aside from my inevitable slowness of writing act 2).

3. Are we doomed?
I believe not. My reasons for this are more or less the same as my response to question 1.

Please, bring up any points you notice that you question or that I have wrong. I don't feel like I know enough about literature (read: I don't read enough) to answer any of your questions with 100&#37; or even 80&#37; confidence. I'm even hesitant to post examples of what I believe to be properly and poorly done in medias res. I'm not an expert. I've taken just one creative writing class because it's all that's offered at my school. Everything I know about writing is self-taught through experimentation and observation.

-

Lastly, I have a question concerning this topic. It's not in comics (as usual for me), but in the game Cave Story. Act 1 is "collected" or "picked up" from various details in the story, both from dialog and visuals. What I want to know is if this kind of thing works well in comics. Cave Story is a game, and considered a masterpiece by many (myself included). But is that "collecting the story" element exclusive to games (Bioshock also did this, by the way)? Can a great experience translate into a great story?

ClockHand
01-04-2012, 10:29 PM
I didn't want to post so fast so other people might join. But as it seems, this is more like a chat between 2 persons than an actual forum discussion; sadly there is nothing much to do.

But on the subject. I think In Media Res is a powerful tool, but its blinding us to other great tools to work a interesting Introduction and stories. Let's go back to Sandman from Neil Gayman. Most of the volumes of his work are just introductions, its amazing how most of the story is just introductory and just few volumes are actually Action and Conflict, and made in way that feels that everything fits together. This because he work Introduction as a separated story, each little story of Sandman is in fact an introduction of his status, world and being and this stories are almost like 70&#37; or more of the actual story in the comic. And the best part of all this, the introduction is entertaining, it hooks the reader and gave completely sense to the story (again, another reason why everyone interested in comics and storytelling should read this amazing comic).

And in other example we have Y: The Last Man, the first chapter, just the first chapter, is pure awesomeness. I'm not kidding, its so well done, and it is a introduction, a short introduction, but very well done. The whole first chapter is about Yorik talking to his girlfriend who is in Australia, but just in a moment every male on earth die (this is where the introduction end). But in this short dialogue we meet Yorik, we know what he likes, what he thinks, what he wants, and how he feels respecting different problems. Just a dialogue, just that, was enough to present us a good character.

This comics are prove that a introduction can be made in a smart and interesting way, that In Media Res, is good, but there are other better options for us to create a story and that everything depends on our skills and how we approach the narration. But I see, sadly, that more young "artists" have as influence stories that work in in media res, and that they are doing the same things they have read. One thing that it should be taught immediately is that you need to go out to make stories, not read in.

Well with the questions.

With Cave Story. The acts are the ones you can see, if someone tell something that happened in the past, but you weren't aware of it, it doesn't make it part of a previews act. The interesting thing with Cave Story, is that a ABC of mystery, what I mean is that the story is structural well placed to what it want to achieve. In comics this work, kinda ok.

I think its better to explain your question with something I was doing a few months ago. For sure you know Tolkien, and you have read some of his stuffs, even if its The Hobbit or Lord of The Ring. Most of his books have illustrations, with weapons, objects or architecture, all this create a background for the world, a segment for the reader to "look" what the author is talking about. The same goes with songs, poems and others that the author present, all those to create a immersion of the story. In this books it work perfectly because the book work in just one dimension which is writing, when you add a draw it break the "writing", you will identify the illustration as something different, something a part. But in a comic, both image and writing get mixed, so adding this plus gets complex, you need to add footers, asterisks and others that break the continuity of image and writing. The same problem happens in movies, you can't add a image to illustrate something in the middle of the movie, because it create noise. But directors were smart, they use "writing", so they chose to write things on the movie, to put hints and others, that work giving a background on the story. But what can we do as comic writers/artist? we can't put sound (well we can, but its hard and complex to make the relation between those in a same continuity), but we can do something, something very edgy (and idea I had a long time ago), with new technology we can create layers of images, we can create backgrounds with messages, and we can move images over others. We can break the comic, not in elements (writing, sound or drawing), but in structure, we can put messages behind and let the reader move things to look at it. Its hard, its complex, but for sure I think this is the future in Internet comics (some day I hope to do something with this idea =/).

So after this big text walls trying to answer your question, yes, we have the tools to create stories that are formed in objects and hidden messages.


PD: we need more people, this look like a chat in msn.

Inksprout
01-04-2012, 11:16 PM
I don't know about comics very much but after skimming through both these massive posts I have a couple of things to add. First of all with matt's Fallout New Vegas example: I think the reason they did not create a background for the main character is because they wanted to make the player feel that they were the main character, a lot of games are like that I believe because they want the player to take on the role of the character in the world, not just tell that character's story. I think its effective but not for everyone. In new vegas I too was expecting to be able to uncover at least a little bit more of the character's story. It would have been more compelling if you could meet people that knew you before or something like that.

Most novels start with some kind of action as well because this grabs the reader's attention. Its generally a rule of thumb to start any story with an interesting part even if its not the main part because otherwise it wouldn't be attention grabbing. How boring would just a straight up description be? If the story does start out describing the character's background (an introduction) it has to be interesting. In fallout 3 for example you are going through the average growth of a child to adult hood but the setting is novel so the introduction remains interesting for players. Comparitively there wouldn't be anything interesting to seeing the messenger in fallout new vegas grow up for most players because they would have already experienced the fallout world in previous games. That said there wasn't enough content later in the game to make the character compelling.

ClockHand
01-04-2012, 11:25 PM
The deal with New Vegas and Fallout 3 is that, in Fallout 3 they incorporate the introduction to the story, while in New Vegas they didn't. And even if it was to put the player in the role of the character, they could make something simple as "small memory recovers" that let you fill skills points. With this you can create a story, a character that was someone before and that you can see a echo of who he was. I know, its not the best, but its the quickest and easy decision. In a same case you have Oblivion, that is, well you know, shit, and Skyrim that work almost in the same way, killing the character and letting the player to take every decisions on who the character is between a illusory decisions.

Now, I don't want to go to much in video games, because those are fucking retarded when we talk about story (sadly, they are the strongest storyteller medias, but the worst worked). The introduction in videos games is almost retarded, only few games really care about it, and the conclusion, oh for Buddha, the conclusions are awful in most cases. I know, some games are not that bad, but they are still in a very childish level compared to other medias. I want to stick a little more with comics, because they do have very good examples and works, they have a wider illustration of experiments in narration, and because telling a story in a comic is way different than in a game (and so the problems they need to over come).

PD: Not saying we shouldn't make the analogy, but don't lets get aboard games, while the thread is comics. If we want to discuss games, we do another thread.

Inksprout
01-05-2012, 12:14 AM
Still, as I said everything I have read always says that when making a story you have to start with some action. The theory applies to all mediums including comics. I think it woud be boring if comics started with introductions. As I said, unless the introduction is very novel/unnusual its not good to put it at the start and even sometimes when it it interesting its better to have it somewhere else in the story. A mark of good writting is to be able to explain the background in great detail as the story progresses. Needing to write a special introduction is generally the mark of someone who is unskilled and clumsy in their writting/story telling. Its related to the rule 'show, don't tell'. If you you have to make an intro for your story that sets everything out then you are doing a poor job of writting, because you are just flat out telling the reader everything instead of gradually revealing the layers of the character's back story throughout the whole comic/book. That being said I think its still accpetable to have parts through out that very clearly tell the characters background. I just think its a clumsy way to tell stories with a big lump of backstory at the beginning. The only acception I would make to this is a general explanation of the world when the story takes place in an unnusual location.

Matt
01-05-2012, 03:06 AM
Inksprout, I understand your point and agree with some of it, but I'm guessing the points I'm disagreeing with you on are going to boil down to semantics or other really minor things. When we say "introduction," (or at least when I say it), I mean the first bits of act 1: the setup of characters, setting, and initial conflict. In Black Cat, this introduced Train and Sven, their occupation, their skills, and the general setting. They were shown on the first page apprehending criminals as "Sweepers," something we don't have in our world. The next scene shows them collecting a whopping 800,000 yen reward and being disappointed with it, complaining about financial issues. It was fun. It described the world. It pulled me in. It wasn't description or just a bunch of shots of the background and/or characters. No, comics can't pull that off. I realize Black Cat isn't the best example, as it's the very definition of average (albeit with pretty awesome art, excluding the first few volumes).

The way you're seeing it, an introductory section devoted to nothing but describing the comic will be boring. Yes, I agree. What I disagreed with was your notion of an introduction being a mark of a lazy writer, and the more I think about, the more I realize what you actually mean. You don't like writers taking up pages and not pulling you in with pages and pages of this:


It was a warm summer day in the town of Springville, Illinois. The birds were singing, the children were laughing, and the sun was shining. People milled about on their daily rounds, going to and from work and school. Here and there, a car horn honked: Springville's local version of a vehicular greeting. Trees cast cool shadows on citizens at rest, having picnics or other various things. The roofs of all the houses in the neighborhood were a uniform dull red. The actual designs of the houses varied, but managed to look like cookie cutter homes all the same. Down at the local ice cream shop....

*Three pages later*

Daniel Blake, one of the schoolboys in the group of fifteen playing basketball, had shaggy black hair and light brown skin. His cheekbones were rather pronounced and his eyes were dark blue, matching the color of his varsity basketball jersey. He was a carefree, simple fellow with dreams of playing in the NBA. Beside him was Adam Mason, a year his junior: a tall, thin boy with short-cropped blond hair and an intense brown-eyed gaze that focused entirely on the faded orange ball. His jersey....

While this kind of introduction may appeal to some people, I would put it down after reading the first line and skimming for some action--finding none. Note that I just wrote lazily and half-actively tried to make it crappy, so actual description-style intros may be better.

Anyway, your point. I agree. I wish my teachers would pick better books for our required reading. This is the reason for my perpetual, irrational dislike of stories about farmers out in the country. My point of disagreement is in defense of the whole idea of an introduction. I believe there's plenty of room for exposition of character, setting, and conflict early on. But there MUST be something interesting, either in the description or happening as things are being described.

Introduction on page 1, first sentence - Setting being exposed in an interesting way:

Chicago's January air was as dead and cold as the trembling hands wrapped around Brent Mann's neck.

Introduction on page 1, first paragraph - Character being exposed in an interesting way:

Two hundred soldiers lay fast asleep in the wake of the white rider's winged mount. Some of them were probably dreaming about the last thing they'd seen while conscious: an elven girl's dark-eyed face and the flash of the green orb on top of the staff she held.

What I'm trying to say through all this, I suppose, is that the story shouldn't slow down for description. Rather, description should be included as part of the story. The introduction, as I know it, is the first few steps in the story. So after all that, I agree with you and propose that the introduction is a legitimate part of the story and not just a few useless pages of description.

-

And I got off comics again somehow. In comics, I think it'd actually be pretty hard to screw up an introduction, unless the author put too much information in the hero's thought boxes. One thing I've always been bothered by is the typical, "I, Abe Ozo, am a 16-year-old student at the Ashmond Academy of Awesome" when the same information could easily be conveyed by a friend calling Abe's name and the name of the school being displayed on a billboard. The characters' ages could be shown when they make comments about both underclassmen and upperclassmen (in a 3-year high school system), conveying without narration boxes that they're second years and letting the reader infer that they're probably 16 or 17.

The weird thing is that they did that "description in thought boxes" thing in Bakuman--and the rest of Bakuman was actually fairly insightful into such things.

-

Clock, I know you wanna get out of games in this thread, but I need to say that in New Vegas, choosing your base skill points via nightmares of your past while you slept based on your actions in said nightmares would have been an amazing gameplay and character development experience. The player still gets to make his/her own character, points are still allocated, and the character is properly developed. Wham. There's part of act 1, all ready to go. This would be made complete, of course, by further dreams when you slept in-game, revealing more and more of your past and why you became a courier carrying something somebody would kill you for.

ClockHand
01-05-2012, 03:25 PM
I think inksprout is mixing things. Yes, you are going to have to keep giving descriptions and working the characters after the introduction, the thing is that the introduction give the bases, who is the protagonist and where the protagonist stand. You will keep doing reaffirmations of the characters on the story progression and so the environment, but the Introduction is the fragment of the story that give the base.

Now, I already did a part on the thread to talk about image vs writing. The point of that, was to discuss that before discussing narrative (what we are doing now), and so we don't have to go back to the discussions about -show, don't tell- and paneling composition. I obviously agree that starting a story with a prologue of "in a galaxy far, far away..." is one of the worst things to do, but also is giving a short introduction that doesn't tell anything about our character and his world, or starting in In Media Res without giving a good track of the characters backgrounds. The point is, how can we (as writers or artists) accomplish a story that hook our readers, when they are more interesting in having everything in In Media Res or doing introductions so short that doesn't show anything about the bases of the character.


"I, Abe Ozo, am a 16-year-old student at the Ashmond Academy of Awesome" when the same information could easily be conveyed by a friend calling Abe's name and the name of the school being displayed on a billboard. The characters' ages could be shown when they make comments about both underclassmen and upperclassmen (in a 3-year high school system), conveying without narration boxes that they're second years and letting the reader infer that they're probably 16 or 17.

This has a equal level as "in a galaxy far, far away...". Yes writing a prologue for a sci-fi or fantasy story is quiet hard (you need to overcome context and immersion, but never to be so deep that no one can appreciate). But when you introduce your characters in monologues, you are wasting your time, and this goes back to -show, don't tell-, and the reason why I see many introductions in comics (of these days), very shallow. Again, Y: The Last Man, have one of the best first chapters ever, it state everything it need to state to believe in the characters and in the world, and it give a immediate problem, but it never use these cheap tools we are talking about.

--

I don't care if we use game analogies or we use it to prove some points, but I don't want to enter in game narrative, because is very different, principally because is interactive, and its become a complete different level of narrative when you try to make interactions under a story that must be lineal (yes and there are games that are not lineal, or better said, give a illusion of decisions).
With New Vegas, well, I really don't like Bethesda, they have prove many times that they are a company first and game developers second. Not saying that the people working there doesn't care about their work, but the company care more about sells than anything else, sad but that's the reality of many major companies.

Fallout 3 was a good game, still, not for me.

Rio
01-06-2012, 11:22 AM
Ok, I didn't read everything but I just want to say this:

Not all books start with action. If you want to hook a reader, you start by putting out a strong, first sentence. It could be that it results in action but that is not always the best way to present a story.

On another note; there is a graphic novel (some say picture book) I read awhile back that is all just panels and composition. No words. It actually won some accolades. Check it out if you can; it's called "The Arrival" by Shaun Tan.

ClockHand
01-25-2012, 12:52 PM
I'm back, with another subject to discuss and to give a life back to this poor and sad thread.

Literalidad.

What is "literalidad"? Well I don't know the perfect translation at English. But Literalidad, it would mean something like "literalness" or "verbal". It's a term in architecture and design that point at the execution of the shape of the object as a verbal explanation of what the object does, use or how people use it.

http://fotos0.mundofotos.net/2006/13_11_2006/alsacia20061163451736/paradero-transantiago.jpg
This is a bus stop in here. This show a "literaldiad" of movement in the roof. We can see how (from our right to our left) appear a continuity of waves, until it breaks in a bigger one, in some kind of a clash or forced stop. And so it continue in a softer wave. This is "literalidad", the structure is telling you how the bus is coming, where it stop, and how it will continue; it can be true or not, probably many bus drivers don't even stop there, but doesn't mater, because the structure is telling you its purpose and is connected to it.

Now you might ask "How -literalidad- affects comic books? Isn't like we gave an use to our panels and comics", in here I say "you re wrong", we constantly use the "literalidad" in our panels, if its to show movement, actions, or even sound. It become so used that we have even being applying it on the structure of panels. Let me give some examples.

20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa.
http://i12.mangareader.net/20th-century-boys/22/20th-century-boys-1562071.jpg
We can see a "literalidad" of movement made by the fight between light and shadow.

Akagi by Nobuyuki Fukumoto.
http://i4.mangareader.net/akagi/3/akagi-532163.jpg
We can see in here a "literalidad" on the expressions provided by the background shade.

Cyborg Grandpa-G by Takeshi Obata
http://i35.mangareader.net/cyborg-grandpa-g/6/cyborg-grandpa-g-859178.jpg
Third panel. "Literalidad" of shocking and fast movement.

Berserk by Kentarou Miura.
http://i4.mangareader.net/berserk/13/berserk-26424.jpg
First panel. "Literalidad" of felling and rolling.

20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa.
http://i17.mangareader.net/20th-century-boys/22/20th-century-boys-1562095.jpg
I know I already mentioned this comic, but I want to point here the "literalidad" of sound and movement.


As we can see, "literalidad" is part of comic books; we reinforce movement, emotion and actions through "literalidad". We have even gone so far that even panels have a purpose of "literalidad" (as shown in the next example).
http://i3.mangareader.net/katekyo-hitman-reborn/355/katekyo-hitman-reborn-2681881.jpg


But it's bad? it's good? how far should we go on it? The deal is that "literalidad" is a tool, that provide us to express kinetic ideas in a static medium. But it also threat readers as retarded people, we even go so far that make every each panel with some kind of "literalidad", creating noise and giving even less important to panels that really need this effect. We have been over used some methods to say "hey, in here we shot a gun" that we provide both: un-creativity and easiness to read.

So where should we go? How should we use this tool? Should we stop using it at all? And what ideas you have after this?

Bacon_Barbarian
01-26-2012, 07:03 PM
Im not sure I understand this literalidad. It seems like a sort of schema drawing or symbolism ... What are you trying to get at?

ClockHand
01-26-2012, 07:28 PM
I think the best way to put it in english would be "Literalism". It's basically the exposition of a kinetic or functional sense in the shape, this mean, that in comics (which is our subject), we expose the shape of the individuals or objects in movement in a shape or sense of the literalism of that movement (function or what we try to say without words).

My point in here is to ask everyone how do you guys embrace this concept when you work with movement, and I gave a exposition of different ways to work this, asking with this the problems that it can be created by the over use of this "effect" tool.

Bacon_Barbarian
01-26-2012, 07:52 PM
Literalism, as a word, doesn't really suit what you're describing, but that's not what matters. You're saying sound effects and speedlines are literalisms, yes?

I can't really think of any issues these literalisms create. Unless youve just begun reading comics, and even then, I'm not sure how you would. It's sort of a hard thing for me to picture...

ClockHand
01-26-2012, 08:09 PM
The deal is that the word is a concept used in architecture and design, so I can't find a proper equal word in English, you just need to stick with what I give and understand the concept, rather than the word.

There are problems, first of all it can threat readers as morons. You can draw someone running, with the proper position of running. You can add this shading of movement which is the literalism of the action you are trying to represent. No mater if you did or didn't that shading, that expression of movement, the reader would have been able to understand that the character was running.

But that, is not a real issue. The problem is when we over use it, creating constant impressions of movement or emotion, creating noise and giving less value to it.

Matt
01-27-2012, 12:56 PM
So it's action reinforced by complementing backgrounds, objects, and effects? I'm not sure I understand this either.

ClockHand
01-27-2012, 01:09 PM
Reinforcing through background, objects and effects is just a way to make it. Literalidad is just a design execution, how you do it, its upon you, I just provide examples of different executions.

It's better if you ask me point by point what you don't understand.

Psy
01-27-2012, 03:13 PM
I haven't read everything either but you mean over emphasizing what's happening by using dramatics like speed lines focus ponts bright lights heavy shadows etc along with text right?

Matt
01-27-2012, 03:21 PM
From what I can decipher:

A dude sitting in a car with no background: we don't know if he's just sitting there or if he's driving. Then you add background of a road, sidewalks, lamp posts, some buildings, a few pedestrians, etc. After that, you still don't know if the car is moving. Then you edit the background so that most of it is made up of lines following the direction of the car's movement. THEN you know that the car is moving. Also of help would be some exhaust coming from the exhaust pipe(s) and moving horizontally rather than vertically (a stopped car's exhaust always just floats up). If you wanted the driver to really be booking it, then you could make him hunched over the wheel with an intense expression. Then you could add speed lines if you wanted.

So is the above example literalidad?

EDIT: Ninja'd by Psy. So, anything emphasizing the main action or focus?

ClockHand
01-27-2012, 03:39 PM
I haven't read everything either but you mean over emphasizing what's happening by using dramatics like speed lines focus ponts bright lights heavy shadows etc along with text right?

Yeah something like that. But those things are executions of what I'm saying, and there are different ways to execute those.

Is not centered in dramatic speed lines but rather in the execution to give a feeling of speed, which you can make through different things, like lines, shading, background, etc.

Bacon_Barbarian
01-28-2012, 01:36 PM
The illusion of creating movement?

ClockHand
01-28-2012, 01:54 PM
yeah, something like that.

PD: Illusion of movement means you try to create something that resemble movement, but what I'm trying to say is the sense of movement, not the illusion. They are similar but not the same.