For the past couple of columns (part one and part two), we've been examining "closure and synthesis" -- the third of my "four criteria" for a new definition of what is a comic. Closure was defined as "the phenomenon of observing the parts but perceiving the whole" while synthesis is defined as "the process of the human mind to take the elements provided to them in a work and to create from the
Last month, we began delving into my third of Four Criteria which I propose help to define comics, Closure and Synthesis. We looked at what has been a widely (though not universally) accepted concept of closure, best defined by Scott McCloud as “the phenomenon of observing the parts but perceiving the whole.” This time around we’re going to be further exploring the other half of the criteria, synthesis.
So far on our quest to define comics, I have set out my four criteria that I believe best determines whether a given work is a comic or not. The Four Criteria are: The Intent of the Creator, Audience Experience, Closure and Synthesis, and The Use of Visual Language. In previous months, we’ve delved further into The Intent of the Creator and Audience Experience. This brings us to our third criteria, Closure and Synthesis.
What is Closure and Synthesis? Why does this criteria include two distinct concepts? And just how are these two things related?
In this installment of his series on exploring the definition of "comics", Patric Lewandowski looks at Audience Experience, the second of his four criteria for determing "What is a comic?"
Lewandowski explains how this criteria is unique as it has less to do with the creator and instead explores the idea that a comic must be experienced by the audience in a very particular way in the workâ€™s original published iteration.
In the first installment of a series of articles examing the definition of "comic", Patric Lewandowski looked at existing efforts to define the nature of comics and proposed that another approach is needed. In the second installment Lewandowski set out the four criteria that he proposed to use in his examination of a new definition for comics.
In this article, Lewandowski focuses in on the first of his four criteria: the intent of the creator. What does this criteria mean? How is it defined? Why do we need it?
In my first column, I took a look at the various previous attempts to define what exactly is a comic. The fact that so many people have struggled to define comics demonstrates that we have yet to do so successfully. Well, if everyone else is trying, why not me?
In order to answer the question â€œIs this a comic?â€ we need to apply four criteria: Intent of Creator; Audience Experience; Closure & Synthesis; and Use of Visual Language.Â Only if a work meets all four of these criteria can it be considered a comic.
Is this a comic?
Admittedly, that is probably the last question a reader consciously asks themselves when reading a comic. Yet, subconsciously, most readers have already asked and answered that very question each and every time they view a piece of work.
In part one of a series, Patric Lewandowski takes a look at some of the most well-known efforts to define "comics" and explains what's wrong with them. Lewandowski then introduces a new approach to defining a comic. In part two of this series, Lewandowski will then explain this new approach in greater depth.