Inspiration and the graphic novel

Inspiration comes in many forms. This week I have spent slammed by the flu and fever. Today was probably my most lucid. Perhaps that has something to do with it. At any rate, I am reading David Carrier’s The Aesthetics of Comics and though a touch on the academic side for me, I may be grasping (fully) for the first time the true integration of the word balloon and the image. Scott McCloud and David Carrier are in agreement: they are one. To my friends who may casually follow my blog from week or month to month, I’m already introducing jargon that is foreign but now very much a part of everything I am doing; these are conventions, the constructs of the comic medium. Carrier, who spawned this inspiration writes, “Awareness not just of the words balloons contain but also of their purely visual qualities is part of our experience of comics.” In other words, in the comic medium, the visual style of the word balloons may carry as much subtle narrative as the picture.¬†This pushes hard on the notion that several typefaces may have to be designed for this comic, not only for the world in which my characters inhabit, but also in the way they speak. Surely, the audio of comics is part of the design of each panel. The “rat-a-tat-a-tat” of the machine gun that sweeps across the panel is integral to the image. Thus, audio becomes a visual cue. Should each character have their own typeface? Is this too disconcerting for the audience? I think not. From what I have seen the graphic novel reader probably scores a 10+ on the visual literacy scale.

Stuff to think about. The saga continues.

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