highlights from my ongoing blog: "The
Visual Linguist." Please add a comment if you have anything
vs. Language • Theory
Grammar • Linguistics
Bias • Definitions
defining "Comics" in contrast to "visual language"
"The reality is that a notion
of 'comics' is not entirely grounded in aspects of structure
(text/image, sequential images). 'Comics' are not 'juxtaposed
sequential images,' nor are they 'text/image relations.'"
is not a medium nor a mode of expression
"Though I frequently hear
statements of faith in McCloud's definition and the propagation
of it. However, I have still not received any good argumentation
for why "comics" equals "sequential images with/without
text." Frankly, this hasn’t surprised me, since I
don’t think its possible to reasonably make such a claim."
and a rant on Comics Scholarship
essays on anything comics-related feel the need to define what
a comic is in the paper – whether or not the paper is
about how “comics” are defined."
needs less nouns and more adjectives
A proposal for an alternative vocabulary
to talk about sequential images with: by getting rid of the
in sequential images
with Panel Transitions
"Really, Eisenstein's montage
and McCloud's closure are kind of like the film/comics equivalent
of ether; a magical "mental"
substance that doesn't really exist that glosses over any real
substance the mind might actualy be contributing."
1 - "Closure
as a psychological notion ... is largely about 'image constancy,'
which means that you can have a single image with pieces missing
and still understand the whole. McCloud extends closure to
do this unification across two separate images."
2 "Artistic Freedom" - "Because
“Art” is supposed to be about innovation and interpretation,
anything visual is regarded as free from constraints of any
3 "Absence of Mind" - "Since
no mind is found in the actual images, its placed instead
between the images. Transitions just become a surface grafted
onto this encompassing unifying process, where the 'mind'
'fills in the gaps.'"
4 "The Veil of Iconicity" - "[Because]
images are most often iconic, meaning that they derive
their meaning through resemblance to what they reference,...
we forget that it actually requires a mind to understand these
images, and thereby discount its contribution to understanding."
About the treatment
of images in culture
Fluency...aka "Pissing off Writers"
A discussion of the perception of fluency for
graphic communication in culture.
A concise summary of my beliefs about the cultural
forces brought on by the "Art" mentality of treating
"[O]ur culture has never really identified there being
a system of graphic communication."
Some thoughts about the intersection of visual
language and "Art" motivated by an art exhibit of
1 - Details the influence
of the cutural notion that people learning to draw should
imitate from real life: "Iconic Bias"
2 - The underlying assumptions
of the belief that drawings should imitate life leads to derision
of other approaches to drawing because they don't see a variety
of styles as separate graphic dialects
3 - This Iconic Bias leads
people to treat drawing as a matter of "skill" as
opposed to "fluency"
is bad!... in the immediate
Looking closer at Iconic Bias, this post examines
the sentiment that "copying other artists' styles"
Imitation, and Iconic Bias
Continuing from the above post, I further examine the role of
imitation and Iconic Bias in relation to the Art theory notion
on a visual e/i-language
A discussion of the extant to
which drawings are an object of culture versus an object of
cognition in relation to various notions from linguistics.
there will never be a universal writing system
This approach combats the theory
behind the variety of attempts there have been to create a universal
writing system. It explains how universal writing system fails
with regard to every major field of the structure of language.
Expanding on the previous
post, I use an ad campaign from Dunkin' Donuts to show why pictographic
writing can't work.
I examine some ambiguities
of a lisence plate reading "OYABABY," and the implications
of each interpretation.
there was the rather striking discovery out of Tehran of a 5000
year old "animation" of a goat found on an earthenware
bowl. Through examination of the animation released by the researchers
and photos of the original bowl, I show how the claims of it
being an ancient "animation" are false, misleading,
and scholarly irresponsible.
are not Mythology
"Superheroes are not modern myths in any
real sense comparable to the cultural functions that myths serve."
Comics by Scott McCloud
A review of Scott McCloud's latest non-fiction
System of Comics by Thierry Groensteen
A review Thierry Groensteen's translated book
on comic theory (pdf