Transmedia with comics!

After the talk that we had on Comics and transmedia I went straight to the library to get some more information around what exactly Garry had been talking about.
Some of them came to a great surprise as to how I’ve been able to go so long without having actually heard of or seen any of these artists, books or comics in my life.

Here’s some of the books I’d taken out to have a good look through,
500 Essential Graphic Novels – Gene Kannenberg Jnr.
The Acme Novelty Date book (Volume 1) – Chris Ware
Making Comics – Scott McCloud
Rebel Visions – Patick Rosenkranz

Within this talk we where looking at what makes media specific and using comics as a key example as to how transmedia has affected Comics and how Comics have driven the imagery and culture. Comics are a clear example of how text and images were joined although early comics didn’t involve words. It’s interesting how little of a change is needed within a drawing to create a different emotion or moment. This isn’t just for a moment within a comic though, this also applies to the change in styles within comics as there’s so many varying styles of imagery out there.
Scott McCloud is able to discuss some of this change and the relationship with reality and words, he draws up a diagram outlining the relationship between reality and meaning.
“We begin to draw words and they change according to the language of the sound to the language of the drawn word.” The drawings themselves begin to develop their own language. From the language of comic books the work begins to spread into animation and films and from there transforms and evolves.
The choice in moment, frame, image, word and flow play a much larger part within film and animation as the ‘gutters’ of a comic are having to be filled in. With a comic they have produce a larger impact as the mind fills in the gaps between each part of the comic. As there’s media specific aspects within both areas they need to take into account, not only the way the story is told, but also the characters that are involved. This links to again the point that Garry had made before about the ‘hats’ that are a good example of transmedia. As a hat can be an iconic symbol or object that is recognizable through different media, this is more apparent when characters move from Country to Country and change or evolve ever so slightly to fit in with the new culture and time period. A character will still however have a basic template and image that will be kept throughout as it needs to stay recognizable and consistent.

The ‘Golden Age’ of comics seemed to have changed the game for comic books and what they meant to people as the world had come out of the last world war. The world began to pick itself back up and it became more and more apparent how much media affected people, using propaganda, images, films, audio and comics as a means of driving a nation. With the fear of communism and panic among the people America had created the ‘Comic Code Authority’ which is due to them becoming aware of how comics where affecting people within the 60’s. This sprouted many regulations and checks by the government before any comic was published and had sadly pulled back many characters and stories and this is when Marvel had seen this occur and brought back classic ‘bad ass’ super heroes into comics.
Homemade and underground comics began to also grow within in this time period and really opened a door to creative geniuses that we all know and love today. This is an example of how media grows, changes and evolves with culture and society, looking at how media moves from one to another as well as developing itself. Design, colour and narrative became apparent and really grew within the comic book world. Looking at Chris Ware’s books, they’re incredibly amazing books with a deep understanding and look at how the colour, composition, characterization and line work affect the reader and how the story is told.

Post-modernism had really grown, people had really grabbed hold of what they saw as culture and played with it, taking it to different levels. Moebius is another person who I must look more into as his work had taken ideas and narrative to a whole different generation up.
An underground tradition still runs today and is becoming more apparent within other media as the different medias have a different life line. As I’ve said in previous posts, it seems as though culture and media is just like fashion; something that comes, evolves, goes and comes back around again altering ever so slightly each time to the current social levels.


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