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Sunday, 05 April 2009

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Vance Maverick

Basically agree, but you're on thin ice if you rely on such paintings having determinate titles. Those are typically matters of tradition -- almost as much so as the "titles" of Haydn pieces.

There's obviously also a tradition of sequences of images in Renaissance and earlier art....

john

To me, the finger is in the process of being extended giving a sense of implied motion, rather than a binding, but the soon-to-be binding precludes any other.

Jennifer

The whole time I was reading through the post, I was thinking, "Is he going to mention Blake? Is he going to mention Blake?"

I am looking forward to part II. Good stuff.

Vance Maverick

determinate titles

Or, better put: titles that are free choices by the artist, parallel with the composition of the work.

JPool

You already know what I think: that while this is a particularly arrow pointy composition, there is no necessary or correct process of visual engagement with it.

Beyond that, paintings are different from sequential art, in that each painting is meant to be encountered on its own (despite the fact that most of us encounter them in Museum or gallery settings where they function as one art object among others). One can linger over any given comic panel, but, to be successful, they must function as a part of an advancing narrative structure. Put another way, if a reader spends as much time as you do here looking at the back and forth in an individual panel in a comic book, I'm sure the artist would feel flattered, but they've also sort of screwed up what they're supposed to be doing, because the reader has stopped reading.

As for historical antecedents for narratives based in the interactions of words and images, not to take anything away from Vance's examples, but Egyptian art springs to mind (it's even composed in panels), or the Bayeux tapestry if you want something in between.

Vance Maverick

Yeah, lots more narrative through sequences of images back through history. Which brings me to an obvious question -- why not refer, not only to classic art, but also to the academic tradition of how to discuss it?

Andrew Shields

I like all those arrows. Very fun!

Gene

Another very famous example of sequential art, by William Hogarth (1697-1764).

(Scroll down for images of the eight paintings and their titles. I'm not sure to what degree Hogarth himself was responsible for the specific language of the titles.)

Vance Maverick

Or, as Meg Worley points out in her Facebook status, the Stations of the Cross.

SEK

Basically agree, but you're on thin ice if you rely on such paintings having determinate titles.

Believe you me, I'm skating full-bore towards that thin ice.

why not refer, not only to classic art, but also to the academic tradition of how to discuss it?

I'm gesturing, albeit obliquely, to my art history classes; but I'm also aimed at a slightly different objective, which isn't to turn them into students of art history, but into perceptive readers of comics. Looping back around to my post at the beginning of the Fall Quarter, Rich still has it right: good pedagogy sometimes makes for bad theory and vice versa. Different ends and what-not.

that while this is a particularly arrow pointy composition, there is no necessary or correct process of visual engagement with it.

There's no necessarily correct way, no, but there is a narrative there, even if it is implicit.

Beyond that, paintings are different from sequential art

Which is why I almost went with the Giotto/Hogarth route instead of the Caravaggio/Blake, but I want to avoid the impression created by more direct analogues early on and focus attention instead on the composition of single image.

Shaun Huston

"I would begin by pointing out that while there may not be a ready-made critical apparatus for comics as a genre, there exists a robust tradition of analyzing visual narrative."

I'm curious about the choice of "genre" here rather then "medium". It's a fine line I suppose, but not without significance, particularly given that different comics clearly fall within different narrative genres (and there are those that resist such labels). "Superhero", "Western", "Fantasy", etc. would be sub-genres of comics, while a book like Charles Burns' BLACKHOLE would simply be of the genre "comics" without further categorization?

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