|Written by M. David Lopez|
|Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud|
Directions: Using your book, notes and in small groups, discuss and arrive at conclusions to these discussion questions.
Chapter 1 – Setting The Record Straight – pp. 2
- What is McCloud’s dilemma regarding comics as the book begins?
- What’s the difference between pictures and comics?
- According to McCloud, why isn’t it easy to define comics?
- To what definition does he eventually arrive?
- List the ancient civilizations that had some form of comics.
Chapter 2 – Vocabulary of Comics – pp. 24
- What is an icon?
- How does knowing what an icon help you “get” the author’s point about the “Treachery of Images”?
- Discuss the concept of the universality of the cartoon. How/why does this concept help readers of comics?
Chapter 3 – Blood in the Gutter – pp. 60
- In comics, what is “the gutter?”
- Discuss the concept of closure as it relates to comics.
- Of the six types of transitions in comics, choose one that you find most interesting and tell why.
- What’s the point of the three stories about Carl that are shown on pages 84-85?
Chapter 4 – Time Frames – pp. 94
- Is each frame in a comic a single moment in time? Why or why not?
- How does adding words change the length/time of a panel?
- In comics, time and space are “one and the same.” How so?
- On page 101, how does changing a panel’s shape affect its time?
- In comics, motion is usually reduced to what?
Chapter 5 – Living in Line – pp. 118
- How are emotions made visible using different cartooning styles?
- Describe how lines are used to represent both visible and invisible phenomena (pp 128-129)
- What can backgrounds help show?
- How can word balloons and lettering help show emotion? Cite specific examples.
Chapter 6 – Show and Tell – pp. 138
- According to McCloud, children are expected to “combine words and pictures” as long as they do what?
- Throughout history, what happened between words and images?
- Of the seven types of picture-word combinations, choose one and tell which is the most interesting to you and why?
Chapter 7 – The Six Steps – pp. 162
- Does McCloud considers comics to be art? Why or why not?
- List the path of creating art (Six Steps)
- Of the Six Steps of creating Art, which step does the artist decide if it will be a book or painting or song or movie or comic?
- What is the question that is found at the core of all art?
Chapter 8 – A Word About Color – pp. 185
- What are the three colors that when put together reproduce every color on the spectrum?
- As color was added to newspaper, what two things increased?
- What types of colors were superheroes printed in?
- What is communicated more clearly in black and white?
- Do you think color help add “reality” to comics?
Chapter 9 – Putting It All Together – pp. 195
- Using the last panel on page 195, describe the process that comics use to transmit ideas from one person to another.
- In this chapter, McCloud summarizes all of the concepts presented in his book. Choose one and describe why it is interesting to you, or why it still confuses you.
- What is one major idea that you learned about comics after reading this book?
- Do you see comics differently now? Why or why not?