07 February 2008

Gutter Brain

Understanding Comics
Scott McCloud

So I rather enjoyed reading Understand Comics, once I got past the smirking face and the cluttered pages. There were a lot of interesting ideas in it--particularly the idea of action taking place in the gutter between panels. I didn't find the concept terribly surprising, but it was cool to think about, and to see demonstrated.

That makes me curious about something. How far can one go with this implied action? Which is not to say that the gutters should be huge, but how far can you go between moments? I'd like to see a comic that lets minutes pass between panels, preferably without dialogue. I'm sure this has been done before, but I'd like to see it anyway.

I suppose there are other ways to do it too. A story where all the crucial events take place off-panel, maybe. Which would be really interesting, from a story-telling perspective. It'd be a useful exercise in perspective. Maybe the story's being told by that one person who always shows up just too late to see whatever interesting thing just happened. Although I don't think a plot device would be necessary. I'd just like to see a comic that's always aftermath and never event. It'd be different.

Or maybe a comedy thing. Characters that, strictly, only exist within panels, and cease to exist between them, thus creating memory gaps. It'd be fun to construct the story, and terribly confusing for the characters, which I always enjoy. Fucking with my own characters is sort of my hobby. Sort of a way to vent my secret foul temper while maintaining my outwardly sunny peace-and-love demeanor.

...I seem to be wearing this topic a little thin. It's a cool idea, but my brain is shorting out. I'll post more later, probably on another aspect of McCloud.

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