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cryoblade
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2002 1:53 am    Post subject: Definition of comics. Reply with quote

ok, i have allot of thoughts racing through my head, as per usual. (how to set up a micro based server, how to change my novel into a comic. dance dance revolution, and about a million other things) and its 2:45 am so im im being a tad nonsencical i require forgiveness.
the definition of comics, as given by scott, is, in my opinion. inadequate.
i mean what ARE comics? comical images of course! so what is comic? a charecteristic of comedy (webster says..) really i thing that many different sequential images are classified as comics just becuase there assosiated with the greater medium, that actually doesnt have a name. for example, graphic novels. i ouldnt dare call those COMICS uch of the time there serious, and far from comical.
and theres such a fine line on what poeple consider comics. strips of the family circus sometimes arent even Narreted, just a scene, but the sence of time moveing as you view it classifies it as comics? or it it the siutaion and eviorment that speaks for itself as a comedic experence classify it as comic? call me nuts( everyone else does) but embby instead of asking what is comics, (an obvious thing really, comidiac images) but what medium is used to make comics? o.O;
"this comic was created in the classic Juxtaposed pictoral or other images in deliberate sequence format..."? (j-poids)
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paddedcell
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2002 2:08 am    Post subject: growing Reply with quote

I think comics have outgrown the neccessity to be comical. Anything in the Graphic Storytelling range falls under the word comic now. They have outgrown the original intention of their creators. Have a mint Frankenstein!!! Cookies! It's really three in the morning? Wow. Time for some cough syrup. Mmmmm.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2002 10:51 am    Post subject: The eternal question Reply with quote

Before somebody says "Haven't we discussed this before?" I'm going to say "Yes, we have." This is NOT to say that this is an old topic that we're no longer interested in- on the contrary! This is an old topic, but there will always be new participants with new viewpoints and even people who've discussed this before will find their own viewpoints shifting from time to time (I know mine have).

With that said- Carry on!
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Haunter259
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2002 11:36 am    Post subject: I just want to say... Reply with quote

Quote:
ok, i have allot of thoughts racing through my head, as per usual. (how to set up a micro based server, how to change my novel into a comic. dance dance revolution, and about a million other things)


...Think more about DDR and less about the other stuff. Nothing is more important than dance dance revolution...at the moment...

My local arcade just got a 7th mix(DDR Max2), and I'm not really liking it. Call me crazy, but I'm and old skool DDR freak, and I grew up(I started playing about 2 years ago) on 3rd and 4th mix...
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Tim Mallos
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2002 1:18 pm    Post subject: I wasn't going to do it, I swear. Reply with quote

Greg, I swear I wasn't going to say that this time. (I thought it was someone else's turn )

Tim
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Nathan P.
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2002 3:21 pm    Post subject: Comics Reply with quote

In response to the mysterious Cryoblade's statement, I must say that the term comic may have come from the root for a word describing humor, but it has since differentiated itself from being a term simply for humor. It is true that a person who does funny things can be called a comic, but he/she could also be called a comedian. X-men is definately not a comedian, but they are both in some way a form of entertainment and sometimes art/literature. To make the point clearer, the Presidents speaches can be funny, but they aren't comics. Comics does not equal comical. I apologize to everyone else for stating the greatly obvious.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2002 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Eddie Campbell has long been resistant to any sorts of academic discussion of exactly this nature. His latest thoughts (or, more accurately, the latest essay expounding his thoughts) are here: http://www.ninthart.com/display.php?article=284
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nyarlathotep
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PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2002 9:21 pm    Post subject: Thoughts on the Ninth Art Article Reply with quote

Ah. Hrrrm.

You know, I approached the whole comic thing from a whole different angle. For one thing, I didn't care for who wrote what and who drew what, and what writer was good, hot or cool. Perhaps I'll explain.

(No, I shall not not explain. I refuse to not explain. Skip this whole section if you don't like it)

I am, like my dad has always implied, a lazy old hedonistic boy. I've gravitated towards things that would amuse me and keep me interested, or in some way I made interesting and amusing. Which probably played merry hell with my school life, but since I'm not dead or insane I shall assume that it has worked.

Comics were a distraction, like computer games were and pornography was (can we say that? Is that wrong?) -- they worked when I was depressed, which was somewhat often, and they often took me away.

Now, I didn't care about the hotness of the writer, the value of the book, the value of its accolades. For one thing, I can't stand Matsume Shirow -- his books are nice books to get into, but his ideas leave a bad taste in my mouth. Metaphorically. The guy just gets on my nerves. I can't explain it. I don't mean any offense, and can only explain that he annoys me in some base, subconscious level.

I read stuff, I feed that little hedonist in me -- sometimes at the expense of other things, but hey. Occasioanally I make and / or write things. So far nothing has been published outside of college papers and magazines, but I'm happy with that. I'd love to say that money doesn't buy me happiness, but I don't think so, especially considering the fact that I need money to buy more stuff to 'eat'.

I like talking about stuff I like to 'eat', too -- it's almost as good as 'eating' the stuff I get, and requires more creative effort on my part, which is always good (yes, even in computer games you're being fed, mate -- the rules of Scott McCloud's system are still in effect, and you're still having the designer show his ideas to you -- feeding you, in a sense).

Sometimes being talked to about something you care about deeply is even better than having a writer spoon-feeding you, especially if the person you talk to come in the calibre of Scott McCloud, whose brain is so large it can make him levitate, but he don't do that because the wife don't like it.

I could think of a better metaphor, but for some reason it seems to involve sex, and that may offend people. Use your imaginations.

Let's not imagine comics as a cranky old uncle -- let's imagine him as... hmm... the art of baking and eating cakes. It's nice eating cakes you can get from the store. It's actually quite pleasant if you want to eat a cake you baked -- especially if it's a good cake, since you know you rock when it comes to baking cake. If your friend baked you cake, it'd be fun to eat their cake too, especially if you like your friend, and their cakes.

Let's just assume that talking about cake is great too. As a matter of fact, it's essential -- how else would you get new recipes? How would you improve cake-making?

But could you talk about cake if you couldn't define cake? If you couldn't separate cakes from eclairs from chocolate to other forms of baked comestibles? You couldn't talk about cake now, could you? You'd be talking about cake and eclairs and chocolate. Not just cake. Maybe that's not a bad thing -- if you like those things. Maybe you only like cake -- oh ho, then you're screwed.

So we define cake as something spongy you put into an oven to cook. Maybe the definition could be broadened, or narrowed. Doesn't matter. It's there. You could make it fuzzy or not, so long as it's there and your friends know what you're talking about. Then you can tell 'em how to bake that killer double chocolate fudge cake.

Maybe they can tell you how to make that cake even better too.

No, no, no... I'm, quite sober and am not under the influence of drugs. I'm funnier when I'm drunk. Except I can't type worth beans.
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cryoblade
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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2002 12:27 am    Post subject: wrong angle Reply with quote

mebby trying to 'define' comics is an error in itself, after all they are the B@stard child, so to speak, or images and motion, they dont fit into a genre and trying to classify them as one restricts, and when you think about it the more you define it, the more exceptions there are.
its this except when unless... hmm,
perhaps we should try and think of it as this way, comics are a for of art that can be anyhing from a humorus comment near a picture to sequential images and back again, if we like looking at something, comics or no, and recive the same athetic effect from it. well, why bother trying to call it anything at all? o.O
...... i need to lower my caffine intake
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Nathan P.
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PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2002 6:33 pm    Post subject: Definitions Reply with quote

Definitions are made in our minds all of the time. We try to understand what other people are saying by what their words mean in our minds. If we can't at least get a general definition of something, and we communicate about it, we have wasted a lot of time. It's easy to enjoy a painting on the purely aesthetic level, but it's a little more difficult for me to enjoy a book on the aethetic level. The mind comes into play. Comics do have both aspects, so people who really don't care about deeper meenings don't have to go beyond the surface of the medium, but those who want to know a deeper level if it exists wonder what the definition of comics could be. When I think about this, I realize that biology has great analogies for this. Nearly every classification system in biology has exceptions. Every missing link leaves a space for a missing link in front and behind it. But it would be a major problem if children were taught about puppies and no-one took the effort to discern the difference between puppies and Brahma bulls. The book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance shows how trying to define abstract concepts could be a little over straining on the brain, but it's definately a worthwhile pursuit. When trying to discover the true meaning of what something is we peal off the layers of what it isn't. This helps us to analyse other things in our lives. Asking these questions wont always clarify an idea for us, but they almost always leave us more knoledgeable about the subject rather than presumptuous. Keep asking questions. Question everything. The truth is out there.
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2002 12:13 pm    Post subject: Juxtaposed images Reply with quote

Heh. Found this today:

Quote:
What makes the photo booth pictures (formally) interesting is that they are framed as mirror images, except that the women have changed places so that each appears in the foreground of one photo and the background of another.


At this URL:

http://weblog.delacour.net/archives/2002/05/07.html#000469

Juxtaposed pictoral images....
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InkAddict
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2002 2:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cryoblade wrote:
Quote:
strips of the family circus sometimes arent even Narreted, just a scene, but the sence of time moveing as you view it classifies it as comics?


Actually you made an important point here:

Most traditional paintings CAN be classified as comics (i mean the general, "sequential" view of what comics are, of course, nothing to do with humor per se), in the sense that they convey a sense of being part of a sequence (as they were, actually, as most painted art is a follow up to narrative art).

The importance of the still image has thus probably more to do with the technical difficulty of having to do a painting twice, and the endeavour of "putting as much as needed" in one image (those who have studied the classical arts will know the fact that some artists were real masters in the telling of stories through one image)

An example of this is the painting of the Arnolfini couple by Jan Van Eyck: http://www.ibiblio.org/wm/paint/auth/eyck/arnolfini/

But every still image that conveys the sense of something happening before and after the image is technically a comic!

...which makes comics one of the original arts,...

...much like we forgot the artistic possibility of comics at the beginning of this century because of the implied aim of only entertaining people (hence the name comics, by the way ), we forgot to classify the arts of painting and drawing as comics, because their implied sense of seriousness!!!
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Nathan P.
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PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2002 8:24 pm    Post subject: Comics and Classic art Reply with quote

One of my favorite painters was Hieronymous Bosch. He was definately an expert at telling stories(confusing as they may be) in one picture. He was also well known for his triptych paintings in which three panels were hinged together. Some if not all of his triptychs could be seen as three panel comics since some panels clearly portray earlier periods in time from others.
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cryoblade
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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2002 4:10 am    Post subject: new definition Reply with quote

lets try this
comics: n. any image or set of images that represent more then one place or moment in time
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Greg Stephens
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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2002 11:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Probably still won't be a decent substitute for:

comics: n. You know 'em when you see 'em!
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cryoblade
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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2002 2:37 pm    Post subject: naw Reply with quote

that one doesnt work, people are STILL confused about RLTD. besides what about some japanise kid coming to america and heres comics and goes to his dictuonary and sees 'youll know em when you see em' heeeeeeeee ^_^
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rsm
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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2002 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If comics are not comic, should they be called tragics?
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InkAddict
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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2002 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually, I wonder why Americans call 'em "comics", because there are two Euopean descriptions that would fit "comics" better:

Bandes dessin?es (French for drawn strips), and strips (Dutch for, well, comics )

Strip renders the idea of there being a sequence, without mentioning the number of images (there is no reason why a strip couldn't consist of one image, actually, it being a sequence one image long )

Also it leaves the humoristical aspect aside!

knew Europe was useful for something!
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Penner Theologius Pott
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PostPosted: Thu May 09, 2002 11:48 pm    Post subject: Say... Reply with quote

Anyone remember the Bloom County where Opus got a job as a cartoonist, but didn't want to be called one because he found it demeaning - and insisted everyone refer to him as a "comic stripper"?
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Chris Wright
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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2002 4:02 pm    Post subject: My haughty definition. Reply with quote

Okay. I know I'm nothing great or new, but I have my own opinions.

Starting from Mr. McCloud's definition, comics are juxtaposed images. Thus, a single panel would not be a comic. This definition is, as stated, inadequate to many people. If I put a picture of Elvis next to an anatomy painting by Titian, that would not be a comic.

My definition is "Comics are juxtaposed pictures in significant order that tell a story". Logography might be considered to be comic art. However, Mr. McCloud's "Robots Love to Dance" would not, since the order of the robots is not significant and it (arguably) does not tell a story. (Since you asked, Mr. McCloud, I don't think I will forgive you for that.)

Now go start a flame war.
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nyarlathotep
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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2002 6:49 pm    Post subject: Re: My haughty definition. Reply with quote

Chris Wright wrote:
Now go start a flame war.


Shan't. You can't make me.

One of the main things about comics, if you follow McCloud, is the use of closure. I mean, no other medium (with the arguable exception of IF, perhaps) involves you with such a deliberate use of closure.

Reading RLTD for me involves a lot of closure -- how are they related spatially? How are they related temporally? Are there any clues? Where does narration and deliberate messing with our heads begin? Is there any way to tell?

No? Hmm. So we have to close the bits all by ourselves, eh? Okay.

Comics!
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Tim Mallos
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PostPosted: Fri May 10, 2002 9:48 pm    Post subject: Lighten up Francis! Reply with quote

Wow, Chris, very defensive stance out of the gate. The point of the bi-monthly comics definition discussions that pop up here is just that, the discussion. We will never all agree on a definition.

You're neither evil nor ignorant regardless of your opinion on this never-ending philosophical discussion.

By the way, you're wrong.

I'm JUST KIDDING!

It's so cool to see so many people who care enough about the medium to try to define it.

Tim
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cryoblade
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PostPosted: Sat May 11, 2002 7:15 am    Post subject: FLAME WAR Reply with quote

ive always wanted to se an actual flame war.
i still like my definition
comics: n. any image or set of images that represent more then one place or moment in time
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Wikkit
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PostPosted: Sun May 12, 2002 2:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So a thousand drawings of a room from different perspectives wouldn't constitute a comic, since it is of one place at one time?
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