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Lecture 1

ENG235H1 Lecture Notes - Lecture 1: Eyepatch, Craigslist

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Andrew Lesk

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1. Difference b/w animation and graphic novels: we navigate through the frames
2. Time and space
oConvention used all the time: time and space are manipulated (example:
anthropologist comic)
3. Text and image commonly work together
4. Comics often defy normative reading (left to right, top to bottom); no right way to read
most comics (esp one-panel)
5. In our postmodern age, "high art" and "low art" are not divided
oComics can be seen as aesthetically pleasing on their own instead of just popular
culture - I'm taking a class on them
6. Ideology of purity in Western culture: pictures and text don't occur together (think
classical paintings and books)
7. Comics aren't pure - reaction is 'that's kiddie stuff' -> not worthy of studying, not artistic,
oModern opinion has changed - rare editions of comics, etc are now expensive
like paintings
8. Graphic novels often work against the idea that text must be linear
9. Image often takes over the function often performed by words
10. Example of Picasso vs Peanuts gang: Picasso is worth more; Peanuts = lower art form,
redrawn over and over
oComics have their own intrinsic value which may have something to do with if it's
seen as art
oAlso, need context (eg. Painting in museum, Peanuts everywhere and nowhere
at the same time)
11. Iconographic figure (smiley face) versus hyper-realism
oIconography is end of the rope before reversion to using text
oIcon is symbol, you can fill in the blanks
12. Hyper-realism is objective and specific, iconographic figure is subjective and universal -
you can do more with it, you can manipulate it, use your imagination
13. Carl comics: 2 panels only, space and time between panels is conceptualized; we come
to a concrete realization of what happened between the panels after seeing both panels
oSpace is called the gutter
oWe read left to right, hop over gutter
14. Gutters can be interpreted differently - there are many different ways to read it, different
ways to fill up the gutter
oSlow down, fill in the gutter (one instinctive response followed by others)
15. Gutter has sense of "time"
16. Comics convention: faces shown to reader
oWe buy conventions in order for the comic to move along
17. We move through time as we read a comic from left to right - there are implicit gutters in
a large one-panel
18. Example of multiple panels showing the same thing versus one large panel
oNegotiation of gutters takes time - slow down, compare differences between
oOr do we just ignore possible minor changes, assume they're all the same, skip
to the end
But large panel has more detail
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