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Thread: Comic/Manga Discussion Thread [Literalness]

  1. #31
    Zeta Members ram's Avatar
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    @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.

  2. #32
    Palindrome Member ClockHand's Avatar
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    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).



    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.




    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.


    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:

    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.

    Last edited by ClockHand; 12-03-2011 at 03:30 PM.

  3. #33
    999 Knights Member Matt's Avatar
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    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.

  4. #34
    Palindrome Member ClockHand's Avatar
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    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?

  5. #35
    999 Knights Member Matt's Avatar
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    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.

  6. #36
    Palindrome Member ClockHand's Avatar
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    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.



    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.

  7. #37
    999 Knights Member Matt's Avatar
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    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.

  8. #38
    Super Senior Member Celestial-Fox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matt View Post
    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 [in a wildly more extreme sense]: The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn)

  9. #39
    Lord of Death jubeh's Avatar
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    Please elaborate

  10. #40
    Super Senior Member Celestial-Fox's Avatar
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    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.
    Last edited by Celestial-Fox; 12-15-2011 at 04:14 PM.

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