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  • Deeper..Yet Again

    Posted on March 15th, 2012 lisskane No comments

    After first reading McCloud, I was pleased that we had such a straightforward and easy to understand piece to ease us back from spring break. Boy was I wrong! Once we started discussing it in class Tuesday, I realized how extremely complex and weird the piece was. There was so much more than I first interpreted. My mind was boggled and confused with all of the “frame within frame, within time, within time, within a frame” talk. At times I felt lost in what exactly we were talking about. One thing I found very interesting was the idea of inception within comics. Planting an idea in someone’s mind without them knowing. Perhaps this is how we can understand comics even when we aren’t aware or see the deep thought that went into the organization and layout of a comic. Like “the dream within a dream” idea of the movie Inception, in McCloud we saw frames within frames within frames.  When reading comics, we think of them as a fun and relaxing form of entertainment. We aren’t necessarily aware of the strategies or tricks the author is using, we are not consciously aware of them, but someone we understand what is going on. We get the message without really knowing how. The idea is “planted in our minds without knowing.” Pretty cool idea if you think of it!

    As I was writing this previous paragraph last night, I figured we would have another in-depth discussion today so I decided to wait to post until both class discussions already occurred. Anyways, Going into today’s discussion, again I felt I knew what I was talking about and what was going on in Time Frames. But guess what? McCloud threw me through a loop again. When I first read over the page with the two circles, I would have never guessed it could be so complex or that we could discuss it for a whole class period! And then still run over and out of time. There were so many ideas and messages coming from one page. Towards the end of class we were talking about how McCloud was sitting in between the two circles. What does this mean? As Jordan said, is he trying to make a distinction or a connection? Personally, I feel as if he is making a distinction. In the other panels, he is outside of them, narrating. I feel as if he can be outside of the smaller one, which describes sequential time and maybe a more predictable, “clean” concept of time. This is something he can somewhat predict. But when it comes to the big circle, the controversial sequence of events, he is more in it. This is more “messy”. I’m relating the clean and messy to the picture of the clock a few pages further. From the outside it seems simple and straightforward, but when the clock is open is it messy and confusing. It is jumbled and you can’t exactly tell where it starts or ends. So maybe this messy part of time is what McCloud is referring to as “real time”. Of course, I am still not completely sure about what he is talking about and this may be completely wrong.. but it’s just what was going on in my head. It’s interesting thinking that there could be so many forms of time. Again, something I‘ve never really thought about too much.

    Also on a sort of random note, I after class I was sitting with Julie and we were talking about how at first we were (and still kind of are) overwhelmed by all of the things to do in this class and how it is hard because there is no specific deadlines. But then we realized, as Dr. C was saying today, that the work in this class forces you to really sink into and learn the material.  Earlier in the semester, we talked about how the education system may be wronged because the goal of many students is simply to get a good grade instead of actually learning. So maybe although it is challenging, more classes should be like this. Because isn’t that really the point? To be challenged, to be forced to really think and to actually learn. And we also realized that in the process of “actually” learning we become “actually” interested. I have never been in a class where students actually choose to stay past the time, because they want to continue discussing and are really engaged in the material. What a crazy concept!

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