Monday, June 22, 2015

Doctoral dissertation in and about graphic novels

See the Boingboing post here.Below is a tightly cropped image.  To see more, follow the link.

A quote:
The primacy of words over images has deep roots in Western culture. But what if the two are inextricably linked, equal partners in meaning-making?
and in the next paragraph:
While its vibrant, constantly morphing images occasionally serve as illustrations of text, they more often connect in nonlinear fashion to other visual references throughout the book. They become allusions, allegories, and motifs, pitting realism against abstraction and making us aware that more meets the eye than is presented on the page.
I want to agree.  The images in the linked article are great and I think that I am missing some of the awe others might feel because of my small notebook screen.  Somewhere in the text, the idea that we can absorb graphic details in a glance is stated and this might be true on paper or on a larger screen but on my screen, the chunks of the image, devoid of the full context, were more distracting than illuminating.

Even without the caveat above, I only saw at most a page or two of the full document.  What I saw did not support the claim that image and text are "equal partners in meaning-making".  A picture may be worth a thousand words but a lot of these words were about scenery.

Maybe Stephen Donaldson has the right response to my 'scenery' point:

"It's nice but we can live without it."
"Live without beauty? Ah, my friend! How do resist despair?"

In short, I definitely feel images can improve the flow of information.  and that sometimes, image heavy content is what I want.  But for more formal work, text is not equal but more valuable than images.

Now to go read Tintin and some of the (checks the favorites folder) 16 webcomics I visit everyday.

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