Monday, December 7, 2015

Braiding, Symbolism, audience participation, closure in WATCHMEN

David Gibbon's Watchmen is a perfect example of the human condition, complex characterization, and very expressive illustrations. I've found that this novel was FILLED with psychological realism and there was a tension throughout the entire novel. This is a novel where the words and images compliment and support each other so well and bring out an incredible perspective of the plot.

 I find the colour to have a profound physical and emotional impact. The colours emphasize the environment and expresses a dominant mood and tone. It's filled with sensation when you used McCloud's theory of Closure by connecting all images to get the bigger picture.

These two pages tie in well with Duncan and Smith's cognitive response theory because as a reader, I am interpreting all the images and connecting them on the page to construct the meaning of the story. The moment where Big Figure runs into the restroom and Rorschach follows after him gets the reader involved because we only see the beginning and the ending of what happens. So when Big Figure runs into the rest-room with Rorschach following him, our minds are engaged because we don't see what happens behind the door. But the result is Rorschach walking out and at the bottom of the page we see what appears to be a puddle of blood. It was difficult at first, because the environment was red, so the liquid could have been water, but because the colour of the surface create a darker tone, and when we see a red liquid, we immediately associate it with blood. By only showing the blood as a result of what happened, as a reader I went back to the top of the page again to make my own meaning by engaging in my imagination. Connecting images and moments together to create the bigger picture, and the author wanted to present it in this way because he trusts the imagination of the reader, and above all its much more pleasurable to engage in our own creativity when the author is giving us the choice to decide what Rorschach did to Big Figure.

Duncan and Smith's theory of comics being additive plays such an important role in Watchmen because there's certain motifs playing simultaneously.

The image of the nuclear doomsday clock

The comedian's badge which could represent the good times, but when it's covered with blood, it symbolizes the end of the good times.

The clock on the cover of chapter 1 is set 12 minutes to midnight, but as we get to each new chapter, the clock is moved forward by one minute indicating as a timebomb. As a reader, I was very aware of this clock throughout my entire reading, because the clock served as a touchstone image for me that was a reminder that when the story was progressing, the clock was ticking simultaneously. It got me more invested in what exactly was going to happen. Also the title of the book is called "WATCHMEN". I thought it was interesting that there's a motif of the clock and wristwatches throughout the story, and it connects with the title of the novel. This ties in with Groensteen's theory of braiding, and that we make meaning by flipping back to pages and connecting them all to make sense of the entire image as a whole.

Groensteen's braiding is also shown when Seymour spills ketchup on his shirt which ironically is a happy face similar to the comedian's badge. Immediately as a reader i made instant connections and it reminded me as a reader to think about the significance of the comedian's badge and how does it serve as a role in the story.

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