Inventing the Self

Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics

October 6th, 2013 by Jason Tougaw · No Comments

Hi everybody. In class, somebody proposed the idea of creating a graphic novel as a research project. (I think it was Sabrina.) It doesn’t sound like anybody feels qualified to do that, but Scott McCloud did. He wrote a book of literary criticism about comics, entitled Understanding Comics–and he did it using the comics form. I’ve put two chapters of the book on our readings page, and I’m including a few pages on this post.

I’d like you to take a look at McCloud’s explanations of the variety of ways that words and image can work together to produce meaning. Then, choose a panel or page from Fun Home that uses some of these techniques to represent selfhood. Be prepared to talk about your chosen panel or page–and the ways it might show us what’s unique about Bechdel’s chosen genre. What can a graphic narrative do that other forms or representation or inquiry cannot? Those of you posting this week might also want to consider using McCloud as a lens to discuss Bechdel for your reading responses.


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