The gutter between comics panels is the most interesting place of all, according to Scott McCloud, author of "Understanding Comics" and creator of "Zot!" This is where the reader's imagination comes into play. The reader is asked to invent what may go on between the first and second set of words and images, or between it and the panels which surround it, north, south, east and west (as in "Jimmy Corrigan").
Unlike a film, where most of the information is offered in contiguous split second views for long flows of the scene, the comics format is less dictatorial. A reader must use the visual and verbal information given and create a wide landscape of action, ideas and/or emotions. His own life experiences come into play.
There are graphic novels, which flow more film-like in the tight sequential nature of the panels, especially in depicting motion, but as in David B.'s "Epileptic" and my "Forget Sorrow," the panels are laid out sequentially, but as a montage of actions, emotions, expressions, dialogues and facts. How the mind processes all the clues is hardly juvenile. It is an amazing testimony to the processing capability of our brain.
Talk on the graphic novel process and book signing this week:
7 PM Monday 17th at Elliott Bay Books, Seattle
6 PM Wednesday 19th at Book Passage, #1 Ferry Building, San Francisco
Next page when I return from the following leg of my book tour:
Causes Belle Yang Supports
826 Valencia Street