Worms-Eyed View

When I was younger having been the middle child of three girls, you could assume we would grow to be like our mother very ‘girly’. No one could have possibly predicted that our early age hobbies would included collecting pokemon cards, scanning through comic books and enjoying ”high risk sports”.  But at such young age we never really gave much thought to the meaning of comic books and different kinds of narratives. I simply liked it, i also never gave much thought to where it originated or how comics really affected society. The introduction to Chute & DeKoven’s Graphic Narrative is nothing more or less than an insight through comic narrative history and how it impacted society.

According to Chute and DeKoven, “The language of comics—that comprises the verbal, the visual, and the way these two representational modes interact on a page.” At first i didnt really understand this statement. Comic books are widely known being easy books as there is normally very little limited text to be read. So when it mentions that a comic compromises on the verbal and the visual, i was not sure i agreed. Sure you can look at a comic see superheroes at the scene of the action and know what is happening, but verbal or written word has little to do with the message a comic sketch has.

Then i thought i would not look at this as if I’m an adult analyzing a narrative rather than a child enjoying the adventures of a comic book. When i was young i remember seeing everything in a worms-eye view as i think most of us did, we believed what we saw. the text that we were reading was easy enough to read, but what was enchanting was the power of a single word on a page.With a single word our worms-eye imagination took over a visually and verbally set up an exiting story. Storytelling has become culturally and historically composed of verbal and visual images that have influenced people since their youths. And i now agree the importance of both elements. Since if you think back now those comic books such as spiderman, and the hulk never really left us as each person gee into adulthood. For example every few years you see another reboot of the superman, or spiderman franchise. And i for one always is eager to integrate myself in the 120 minutes of visual narrative.

 

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15 thoughts on “Worms-Eyed View

  1. I disagree that “verbal or written word has little to do with the message a comic sketch has.” I think that the little wording a comic book has actually helps the story its self get that extra push. Because the visual and the written combined helps the story connect and also gives the reader the story its trying to tell. Its a way of making the viewer understand the message the author is trying transmit. Its makes comics book flow and that simple “POW!” makes the image alive.

  2. Hello! You did a nice job on adding in your personal experience with comic books. As kids, we really look at the visuals presented in the graphic novels. But, the text does help with the story and does work with the images in the comic books. If there were not any text to go along with the images, then it would not be considered a comic book and would have no purpose or meaning. I believe that words would help guide the reader into what the story is about and what will happen. Then you make the statement that each word is very powerful. I would probably describe the texts as effective or useful, since it would help enhance the graphic novel. Overall, you did well in stating your opinion on comic books and how it would help each one of us into adulthood.

  3. Before reading Chute & DeKoven’s Graphic Narrative, I too didn’t understand what they meant when they said that, “The language of comics—that comprises the verbal, the visual, and the way these two representational modes interact on a page.” It’s true when we were kids that we regarded comics as easy to follow stories, but Chute & DeKoven opened my eyes to the fact that comics are just simple image and text. Comics are more complex then how we perceive them. The way how image and text complement each other to tell a story is fascinating and truly adds depth to the plot.

  4. What I liked most about this post is that it was more of a realization, rather than a “choose your side” post we have seen from others. I thought that it was good that you could see the words more as a narrative when you intended to see the comic as a narrative. I think that’s what differentiates comics and normal books. People usually see comic books as leisurely reading rather than intellectual reading that comes along with books. If people would have the same feeling going into comic as they do books I think that they would come to the realization that you came to. The writers of comic books know what they are doing and try to make it as much of a narrative as any other work. This was I think the point that you came to in the post.

  5. i know what you mean. I can recall reading or seeing comic book characters such as spider-man, the X-Men and various other shows with classic comic book characters, like you described with the ” worms eye view” I remember seeing and believing what I saw. I realized that it wasn’t real, but it was so well described, and the narrative of the comics, on paper and on TV were nothing short of amazing, I think that whatever urged comic book innovators of the past to develop there form of literature, will be the driving force for graphic narrative today. Its funny when we go back in time and wonder why some parents found comics to be childish, or nonsense; however we can now see from the morals of present comic narrative films such as superman just how relevant, and universal the comics are. in the iron man movies there were individual themes and morals ” sometimes you have to run before you can walk” as said by tony stark in the film, as well as in spider-man ” With great power comes great responsibility” through the words of peter’s (spider-mans) uncle.

    • Thanks for your example very interesting and i agree with it 100% We can now recall those times where we believed and saw rather than seeing is believing because our minds weren’t and narrowed from the impact of adulthood and reality. thanks for commenting

  6. HI, excellent post! I particularly like how you contrasted the two different mind sets of and educated adult and a child. A child with no prior knowledge of the world sees a comic and it’s something they can understand with extremely basic knowledge of language. It is my belief that children and Adults are equally intelligent and have equal ability to comprehend. The difference between adult and child is knowledge, so without the knowledge of language that adults have children are often left at comic books and as a result adults often seen to forsake comic books as a childish thing, something that is simply not worthy of their language abilities. Yet comic books seem to hold the attention of an equally intelligent child easily enough, does this not constitute literary merit? Another thing I like about your post was how you explained the significance of the one word comics may have on a page. Many adults try to compare comics with works from legendary authors such as Mary Shelly, Franz Kafka, and William Shakespeare and that is exactly why they judge them as childish readings. Comics are less about the similes and metaphors and more about the connection between the illustration, the one word, and the reader’s imagination. Thus I believe Comics have equally potential for literary merit as any other works yet they cannot be compared.

    • You just gave me alot to thinks about! thank you! i agree with you completely comics are so underrated, and the significance of a child’s mind versus and adult mind towards comics can be prejudiced to a child’s intelligence. thanks for commenting 🙂

  7. You made a very good point about comics! Who really thought about how comics originated or who made them? I personally didn’t really think that about that. Just picking up a comic book was really interesting to me. I think with having those pictures in the book gives them a little push or makes it more visual as you read it. I am the youngest of three and I never been that type of ‘girly girl’ people would describe. I really like to read! You can say I am a book worm. You can always find me with my face stuck in a book. When I was younger picking up a comic book was like foreign language to me but as I kept looking at them and reading them I eventually caught on. I like how you say when you were younger you saw everything in a worms-eye perspective. So like you said as a child we would open the book and see a picture with a short sentence on the page and our worm-eye imagination would take over and from there set up an exciting story. I liked how you pulled in life experiences and also having an adult perspective of it.

  8. i liked your post but i do not agree with i am not the type of person to sit down and read a comic book. i actually have not sat down to read a comic until this class i have read few short ones if they happen to be on the newspaper and its just sitting there. if comics had no text i would be completely clueless to what was going one pictures can only say so much. the text will inform one to what is going on, who is saying what, and what kind of attitude the character is in. you can see emotion in a picture but you dont see action if you have three figures just standing there sstaring at each other. if Persepolis would have been empty of text i would have profoundly confused and maybe gotten to the 3 page because i am not creative enough to make a story with just pictures.

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