E se procurasses alguma coisa mais recente ?
nos anos idos de 2017
Porque começamos a dever à casa (distraídos com Beja XIV e mortes anunciadas por talentos locais - my bad! ) aceleramos e o candidato mais recente encontramos no regresso ao "The Impact of Digital Mediation and Hybridisation on the Form of Comics" de Daniel Merlin Goodbrey ago 2017.
Mais ocupado de hypercómicos cruzados a jogos e áudio, podemos no entanto recapitular o seu review literário para bases comuns. Destas, em fast forward.
Começando de clássicos, Will Eisner e Scott McCloud.
Eisner begins his book by identifying comics as one example of a form he defines as 'sequential art'. He describes comics as having 'the characteristics of a language' that requires an ability to read their 'image-word mix' in order to be understood.
In 'Understanding Comics', McCloud provides a now commonly used definition of comics as 'juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence'. McCloud uses Eisner's concept of sequential art as the starting point for the creation of this definition but introduces the concept of juxtaposition as a way to more clearly separate the sequences of images found in comics from those found in animation.
- The importance of this spatial juxtaposition between images informs much of McCloud's writing on the form.
- The concept of 'closure' - a term borrowed from gestalt theory - as being a fundamental part of this process: the act of 'observing the parts but perceiving the whole'.
- McCloud views the reader as 'a willing and conscious collaborator' in this process, with closure acting as 'the agent of change, time and motion'.
Os early English-language academic writing on comics elegem a sequentiality and the mix of word and image como important characteristics of form.
- Sabin describes comics as being fundamentally 'narrative in the form of a sequence of pictures – usually, but not always, with text'. Later he notes the importance of the textual elements similar to Eisner as 'a language' in which words and images 'combine to constitute a weave of writing and art'.
- Harvey takes direct issue with McCloud's definition: rather than sequential juxtaposition, he instead asserts that the 'essential characteristic' of the form is the blending of words and pictures to achieve 'a meaning that neither conveys alone without the other'
- Thierry Groensteen's 'The System of Comics' identifies the central characteristic of the form of comics as 'iconic solidarity': 'interdependent images that, participating in a series, present the double characteristic of being separated […] and which are plastically and semantically over-determined by the fact of their coexistence in praesentia'. Groensteen sets out to 'describe the entirety' of the relations between images operating in iconic solidarity, which he groups under the term 'arthrology', a broad concept covering both the transmission of meaning in comics and artistic qualities of physical composition.
i) Discussing the role of space in the portrayal of time in comics Groensteen draws direct parallels between iconic solidarity and McCloud's juxtaposition-based definition, which both rely on the reader interpreting 'several images sharing the same space'. ii) Where Groensteen and McCloud diverge, is that while McCloud's definition focuses on images in sequence, Groensteen argues that the organizing principle of comics is 'not that of the strip, nor that of the chain, but that of the network'. While this network may contain images intended to be read in sequence, it also exists in a 'dechronologized mode' that allows for the possibility of 'translinear relations and plurivectoral courses' through the text.
Dias mais simples. Agora compliquemos, desnecessariamente.
- Groensteen's 'The Current State of French Comics Theory': discusses the difficulty of reaching an agreed definition of comics due to the multiple formats, cultures and industries across which the form has developed. Groensteen again looks at attempts to define comics, warning that too narrow a definition can result in excluding 'the more minority, atypical or experimental works' from study.
- Philippe Marion: introducing the theory of 'graphiation' ('the graphic and narrative enunciation of comics'): 'the aspects of the image where one can read and discover something of the idiosyncratic gesture which produced the drawing' and provides a useful tool for the discussion of individual graphic styles in the artwork of comics.
Graphiation shares some similarities with Groensteen's concept of narrative drawing, as both ideas link the artwork in a comic directly to the act of drawing that created it.
- Smolderen examines the representation of sound in comics and focuses on the hybrid nature of comics as a form that combines word and image to create 'an audiovisual stage on paper'. This focus on comics as a blend between word and image is continued by Baetens and Lefèvre.
- Miller, "Reading Bande Dessinée": comics as producing 'meaning out of images which are in a sequential relationship, and which co-exist with each other spatially, with or without text'.
- Neil Cohn explores the relationship between space, time and sequence, a detailed examination of how the reader derives their sense of time in a comic's narrative based on the role played by panels as 'units of attention' within a sequence.
Cohn further explores the role of 'attention units' in ' The Visual Language of Comics' [and] looks at the use of graphical 'schema' in comics examining how different artists build up their own individual schemas of representation within their artwork.
- Witek notes that attempts to identify the key characteristics of the form of comics has resulted in 'more semantic quibbling than productive critical inquiry'. Instead focuses his own study on 'formal conventions that were once commonly used in comics and have now nearly disappeared': the changing use of panel numbering and directional arrows, and the impact these have had on reading practices, panel shapes and page layout.
- Lefèvre explores the use of the panel as a framing device and notes how different panel shapes can complement the composition of the scene depicted in the comic [e] highlights the importance of the non-diegetic space around each panel.
- Hatfield's 'An Art of Tensions' examines tensions that are at work within the form. In reading a comic, tensions exist when 'various ways of reading must be played against each other', these include i) a tension between the reading of words and images, ii) a tension between single images and sequences of images and iii) a tension between reading a sequence and observing the larger layout of which it is part. This last tension can also be seen as part of a larger tension between treating comics as reading experiences and 'the dimensions of comics as material objects'.
- Hatfield's focus on the materiality of comics is continued by Priego in his study of digital comics.
- Meskin examines existing definitions of comics within the context of the philosophy of aesthetics, criticizing formalist approaches for their 'failure to take into account the historical contexts in which works of art are produced'. He criticizes McCloud's definition for being both 'too limiting' and concludes that a definition itself is 'unnecessary to the proper evaluation and interpretation' of comics.
- Beaty highlights similar issues to Meskin in his criticism of formalist definitions, favoring instead a social definition that 'has the advantage of not relying on the specific features' of comics and instead focuses attention towards their 'social classification'. Drawing from institutional definitions at use in the wider arts world he defines comics as 'objects recognized by the comics world as comics' [e] asserts that such a definition allows comics to be 'better understood through the collective activities that constitute their production and circulation' than via specific formal characteristics.
- Miodrag's 'Comics and Language' provides an overview of the origins and development of comics scholarship and analysis of the form across three distinct areas: i) role of words in comics considering the fragmentation and spatial arrangement of written textual elements can influence meaning and reader understanding ii) an examination of the hybrid nature of comics and the diverse range of interactions that exist between word and image, an examination of the hybrid nature of comics and the diverse range of interactions that exist between word and image, iii) artwork in comics, debates around the treatment of images as a language, and explores issues relating to individual artistic style.
Agora a galera e as galerias:
The growth in comics scholarship has led to the study of a wide variety of different types of comic, including some examples of the form that operate outside of traditional printed formats.
- Gravett examines architecturally mediated 'gallery comics' that are designed to inhabit 'the white cube of the art gallery'.
- Rosenthal; De Oliveira et al. Coulter-Smith: Comics exhibit many of the spatial and narrative qualities typically associated with installation art
- Mutard explores ways in which the form of comics can adapt to gallery spaces, considering issues around readability, panel scale and the opportunities afforded by specific architectural features.
E agora em digital.
The first major work to examine digital comics was McCloud's 'Reinventing Comics', specifically on the impact of computing on comics and examines the implications of digital production, distribution and mediation.
The 'essence' of comics is that they operate as an 'artist's map' of time, with the progression through a spatial sequence of panels equating to a progression through narrative time. McCloud proposes the temporal map as a simplification of the essence of comics that might allow the form to adapt and evolve into new digital formats. One such new format is that of the scrollable and zoomable 'infinite canvas'.
- Cohn provides a useful clarification of McCloud's position as 'not "physical space = fictive time" but rather 'physical space = physical reading motion = fictive time'. Cohn does not however agree with McCloud's thinking, noting that a panel does not necessarily represent a single moment in time but rather it is the progress through a sequence of panels or depicted moments within a panel from which a sense of time in the comic is constructed
- Miodrag notes the popularity of the temporal map concept and asserts that while it 'aptly describes certain kinds of transition… …it certainly does not define' comics as a whole, instead favouring Cohn's approach.
- The storytelling opportunities of digital comics are further explored by webcomic pioneer John Barber in his Master's thesis, 'The Phenomenon of Multiple Dialectics in Comics Layout' [onde] he emphasises the importance of reader control over 'the rate at which information is absorbed' in a comic. This 'inherent' characteristic of the form is often overlooked in the study of print formats but is particularly significant when considering the potential for animation in digital comics to disrupt the traditional reading process.
- The importance of reader control in this digital context is later stressed by Levine and Murdoch.
- Withrow, 'Toon Art: The Graphic Art of Digital Cartooning': after an initial focus on the processes and techniques of webcomic creation presents 'a showcase of the best in the business', the showcase includes examples of web-based hypercomics and early examples of the animated motion comic format.
- Campbell in 'A History Of Webcomics': in-depth history of webcomics as a whole, i) documenting the development of webcomics from their origins and early years in the mid-1990s through to the diverse and well-established industry of the mid-2000s, ii) identifies the origins of popular formats and approaches to webcomics
- French cartoonist Yves "Balak" Bigerel's 'About Digital Comics' manifesto serves as an important link between the webcomic scene and the emerging market for tablet-based digital comics: i) forms the basis for the 'Turbo Media' with ii) a deliberate refusal to employ any 'temporal effects' such as animation or moving panels.
- Priego's doctoral thesis, 'The Comic Book in the Age of Digital Reproduction', examines digital comics through the lens of materiality:
i) Priego demonstrates that digital comics share with print comics 'similar structures and relationships between the written word and the graphic image' ii) provides an invaluable history and analysis of early digital comic formats and associated terminology iii) also provides an in-depth study of the emergence and development of the webcomic, including close analysis of a number of significant examples of the format
- The motion comic format provides the focus for Smith's doctoral thesis 'Motion Comic Poetics: A Study in the Relations between Digital Animation and the Comic Book':a detailed analysis of how animation is employed within motion comics and broadens its scope to consider a variety of other digital comic formats that also employ elements of animation ( digital comic as a type of 'hybrid animation, directly influenced by existing comic book narratives and artwork')
- In 'Comics and Narration', Groensteen dedicates a section of the book to discussion of 'the theoretical and artistic' aspects of digital comics [onde] briefly examines a range of other digital comic tropes, including zooming, malleable panel compositions, the infinite canvas and multicursal narratives [and] concludes that digital comics are 'intrinsically hybrid, cross-fertilizing the comic system' with elements taken from animation, videogames and the World Wide Web.
He notes that i) computers have become 'omnipresent' in comics production and ii) that digital comics can have an increased continuity of platform from production to consumption. iii) In terms of materiality, he examines the loss of tactile qualities and the weakening of 'spatial memory' that comes with the transition from printed to digital comics [and] asserts that as a result of these differences, the screen may be better suited to shorter works rather than novel-length narratives.
Groensteen goes on to discuss the potential for the incorporation of animation and audible sound into digital comics [onde] identifies an essential conflict between 'the concrete, measurable time of motion and sound, and the indefinite, abstract time of comics narration', taking a similar stance to Barber asserts the importance of comic readers setting 'their own rhythm' in the pace at which they progress through the reading of a comic and that a true fusion between comics, motion and sound is difficult to achieve.
- Hague discusses several examples of digital comics in his study of 'Comics and the Senses' [onde] he explores a variety of ways in which comics operate as sources of audible sound [e] considers the relationship between comics and the sense of touch, which includes comparisons between paper and screen-based comics (ex: he highlights the physical cues to progression through the narrative that are present in printed comic books but absent in their digital equivalents).