Monday, November 5, 2007

Corrigan vrs. McCloud Graded Blog

Finding differences in comics’ for me, is just about as difficult as playing video games, and that is very, very difficult. However when I look at Jimmy Corrigan and Scott McColoud I find that Zen Dating is similar in ways that only 3am can show me.
Corrigan uses many different ways of showing power in on a page. When I say power, I speak to the direction and intended perception of the reader. ¬¬¬Chris Ware, as we discussed in class is obsessed with control. To accurately ingest the entire meaning of Jimmy Corrigan, I believe that it must be read at least twice and with a very knowledgeable guide. The author making the reader turn the page, in Corrigan, is an obvious attempt by ¬¬¬Ware to show the extent of his control. In contrast ¬¬McCloud uses the social context, or assumed biases or the reader to make subtle points. For example, the context of Zen Dating is about a first date. The title is the author’s first move, and the title lets the reader know who is in control of the strip. Although “control” is not as distinct in Zen Dating it is also obvious that McCloud is aware of the power he has when stringing together boxes and words, consequently the strip is filled just as Corrigan, with clues as to the point of the author.
Before I continued to read the strip, I already had in my mind the point of the strip, thanks to the deliberate title. Similarly in Corrigan, after being lead through the book one is already aware that this journey is not being guided solely by their imagination or interpretations and expectations, rather it is guided by Ware’s expectations and insights, in my opinion this makes the comic more interesting. Both authors are present in there works, and as awkwardly as I expressed, this is the similarity that I find interesting enough to explore through this response.
Looking physically at the two strips I don’t see too many physical similarities, in fact I find the format of McCloud’s work to be better. I use the word better, referring to my ability to follow the strips, my entertainment with the strip, my understanding of the strip and so on and so forth. Ware’s approach I think is best suited for the comic veteran, who understands the goal and creativeness a strip has, for a more abstract mind I guess. In McCloud’s work, there is only one square that shares an image with another, strangely in Corrigan this happens much more. I think that this style choice is appropriate in more lengthy comics, thus I find the lack of this in McCloud’s work an indication of his sense of what his comic has the ability to be, I applaud him for not being too abstract.
I guess I have not formally made my argument, so here it goes. I find McCloud’s work to be less abstract, and complex, and more capable of being interpreted and understood by any person who knows how to read. Corrigan, is a comic thick with details that he average reader may ignore, and thus to me becomes more of a chore to read. Both authors use power and presence in their strips, and this is a similarity that I applaud in both. However if I had to choose which I would rather read, it would be McCloud, and so, simplicity is better when it comes to comic strips.

1 comment:

Adam Johns said...

The most interesting thing here for me, out of several interesting things, is that you are calling McCloud concrete and Ware abstract, when the McCloud comic in question is deliberately abstract, at least in the drawing style (one might argue that it is more or less abstract based on its "Zen" nature, which reminds me of a story I don't have time to tell....).

Anyway, I think you're entirely right that Ware is easiest for the comics veteran - with a big caveat. There are ways in which veterans of simple comics (superhero comics, etc.) would be even worse prepared than you, because they'd have more expectations to be violated. Being familiar with a range of ambitious independent comics would help.

Funny thing is, though, that Ware's book sold rather well...

Anyway, I'm interested in what you have to say, but it's not as easy to follow as it could be because you don't explain _how_ Ware's work is more abstract (at least from your pov), and the discussion of power, while also interesting, doesn't make clear to me how either person is more concerned with power/control than any random artist in any medium...