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.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on January 22, 2008 - 10:07
- The January issue rolls along with interviews with WCCA Chairman Frank "Damonk" Cormier; the creators of Blank Label Comics; creator and world traveler Ryan Estrada. We also have a review of Rob Hanes Adventures; plus Michael Payne's feature on vanished webcomics; Tim Broderick's feature on whether to approach an agent or a publisher first with your graphic novel proposal; Patric Lewandowski's feature examining how a creator's intent relates to what is a comic; and Derik Badman's look at Murder Dreams, a short comic from 1954 drawn by B. Krigstein.
- Don't forget to check out our advertisers: The Learn to Draw course and the webcomic The Vanguard.
- Next month, February 2008, is ComixTalk's fifth anniversary! [Insert slightly vulgar exclamation here]
News and Blues
- WCCA Nominations due this Wednesday, January 23rd.
- Kris Straub has changed the URL for his webcomic Starslip Crisis to starslip.com - make sure to change your bookmarks!
- Sequential Tart has an interview with Bill Barnes of Unshelved.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on January 14, 2008 - 11:00
January Issue (so far...):
- Xaviar Xerexes interviews the International Man Of Webcomics: Ryan Estrada
- Michael Payne goes in Search of Vanished Webcomics
- Tim Broderick continues his series on bringing his webcomic to print with a traditional publisher: What's the Next Step?
- Patric Lewandowski considers the Intent of the Creator in his series on defining comics.
- Derik Badman's latest installment of his column Panels & Pictures offers a close reading of Krigstein
Be kind to our advertisers and check out the Learn to Draw the Human Figure anatomy training course.
- Todd Allen tackles the quality of Zuda's advertising and Platinum's AT&T sponsorship of the Comic Book Challenge among other subjects in his most recent column at CBR.
- Lee Atchison takes a turn at being a "renowned webcomics historian" with A Brief History of Webcomics: part one and part two.
- Jiffy Burke interviews James Turner, creator of Beaver and Steve.
- Leesa Hanagan interviews Woody Hearn of GU Comics.
- Joamette Gil interviews Tracy Butler, creator of Lackadaisy.
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS
- Pam Bliss has a computer but doesn't read webcomics. And she worries that the giant magnet overlords may erase all of the webcomics from the intertubes. Gleep!
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.
Submitted by Xaviar Xerexes on November 5, 2007 - 15:55
COMIXTALK MAGAZINE UPDATES
- Lots of articles up this morning to kick off the November issue of Comixtalk: interviews with Howard Tayler, the new Halfpixel crew, comics creator and writer Debbie Ridpath Ohi and comics artist Ramon Perez; Doctor Haus reviews the webcomic Slackerz, and two feature articles: one from Patric Lewandowski examining the definition of comics, and one from Tim Broderick with advice on writing a query letter to publishers.
- Todd Allen has an interview with Joey Manley and one of the investors in the new ComicSpace venture.
ZUDA, ZUDA, ZUDA!
- David Gallagher writes about writing for Zuda.
Brian HibbsAbhay Khosla writes about the Zuda interface (and something about why webcomics should aim to be more disreputable than the print comics he sells.)
- Paul O'Brien gives Zuda a grade of a C+. Seems early for report cards?
- Highway 62 focuses on the actual webcomics up on Zuda.
- Newsarama has an interview with many of the Zuda creators.
- The Beat has a round-up of posts on Zuda here.
- The SpinZone webcomics collective picks up its first conservatively-tilted webcomic, Geeks on Caffeine.
JUSTIFY MY HYPE
- What happens on the pirate ship, STAYS on the pirate ship
- Debbie Ridpath Ohi updates her My Life in a Nutshell comic with a bit on her ComixTalk interview.
AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 BLOGS
- Monkey Law goes silent in support of the Writers Guild strike.
- Panels and Pixels has an extended interview with Monte Schulz on the recent biography on his dad Charles Schulz, the creator of Peanuts.
- Nightwish, heavymetal umlauters from Europe, rock out at Onezumi Studios.
- Seven Camels blog has scans of the "Comic Strip Artist's Kit" created by Carson Van Osten, a famous Disney artist who did many of the Disney comic books.
Submitted by Neil Cohn on November 4, 2007 - 23:20
Patric Lewandowski joins the club of discussing the definition of "comic" with a new column over at Comixtalk. He has yet to mention my split between comics and visual language, but did use the magic VL words, so perhaps he's on his way there? Seems to be the start of a potentially interesting treatise at least, and I look forward to seeing where he's going with it.
At the very least, I'm glad
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.