Friday, September 30, 2011

Icon vs. Reality: The Triangle Chart

 In Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics, He describes the elements of comic style and how words combine with pictures. One component that stands out in his theory of comics is when McCloud explains the triangle with reality, language, and the picture plane. The picture plane represents the total "pictorial vocabulary" of comics and visual art. This is where shapes, lines, and colors can be themselves and not fool the reader, allowing a personal opinion and interpretation. Most comic arts is located in the bottom to show that every line has a meaning. Each cartoon character has a meaningless line on the face.  

     In chapter 2 Vocabulary of comics, McCloud uses the ide of icon versus realism which is incorporated with faces and identification. Simple faces make it easier to identify and they are not simple which does not invite a large amount of identification features. In order to detect any movement of identification, the lines show differences in faces. Faces depict the true emotions and character of a person which gives a detailed explanation bringing realism to the story. McCloud's theory of faces and the triangle chart connects with Lynd Ward's images in Vertigo.

     Vertigo is a dramatic tale of three people that deal with financial instability, with a young girl who wants to be an accomplish violinist, and a boy who hopes to become a builder find their aspirations to disappear because of thew harsh economic times. When an elderly man cuts his business losses and all three lives change drastically. 

      Two images involving mirrors have a relationship. The boy is looking in the mirror and the girl is turned away from the mirror. She represents optimism and hope which shows she's not being self-reflective. The boy represents a pessimistic and negative attitude where he is being self reflective. The mirror is dark focusing on her body in the light and in the boy's image the mirror is bright and the image of his body is dark. Many components of these images reveals the type of character each person is. The little girl's face is black in the beginning and the shadow is important which shows less identification is present. The image of the boy's face on the roller coaster can be interpreted in two different ways; strange or simple based on the reader's interpretation of lines. 

     The vocabulary of comics shows the importance of drawing faces to show the true emotions and attributes of the character. Its about focusing on the specific details of the lines to show definition which amplifies the image. Lynd Ward's brilliant depiction of the Great Depression through images in a graphic novel is genius. Ward fully explains each character without any words but just specific detailed drawings that directly relate to the true appearance of each character in the novel. Faces in Vertigo are either sophisticated or simple depending upon the character that is being described in the novel.

1 comment:

  1. Dealing with McCloud's triangle *and* with his ideas about faces and how they work is simply too much for one essay of this length. It would have been better to pick one or the other. This is especially the case when you consider that three paragraph in you haven't said anything specific about any page in the book...

    The fourth paragraph begins to say something about specific images, but it's muddled - it's too short, and it's unclear to me what images you're even talking about, other than the initial one where the girl is turning away from the mirror.

    The fifth paragraph, again, doesn't actually do any work.

    Overall: You need an argument which says something particular about some image/moment in the text. If you're having trouble finding something to say, begin with an image (or a passage) - never begin by as broadly as you do here without a clear direction.