Monday, December 7, 2015

Use of speech bubble in "Deadly Class"

So to be completely honest before this class I did not read comics, it wasn't a genre that I really didn't take seriously because I didn’t believe you could become attached to a narrative that didn't contain pages of words. However, after analyzing and reading so many comics in class, I certainly hold a very different outlook on comics now. Through multimodality you are able to gather so much information and detail about how a comic is made and why it is chosen to be made that way. Using theories that we have spoke about in class I was able to analyze a monthly magazine entitled “Deadly Class” made by Rick Remender, Wes Craig, Jordan Boyd. The owner of the comic store where I purchased it said “it was growing fast in popularity” so I decided to give it a try. Right away the book was not what I pictured it to be, even though I really had no preconceived notions as I mentioned before, I am not avid comics reader. The monthly spread was about a group of teenagers who are assassins and all live together at some sort housing unit. The comic was very fast pace and I really did have to go back and re-read sections of the magazine in order to understand the full story. What helped analyze and comprehend the narrative was my newfound information on comic theories. I noticed that when the main character is talking to himself the authors chose to use rectangle speech bubbles but when someone else is talking to him it a more rounded speech bubble. This leads into David Carrier’s notion on speech balloons in which he says “since comics are also a visual art, we are concerned as well with the strictly visual qualities of balloons. We contrast elegantly shaped balloons and are aware of the visual qualities of the chosen type, which we read in the ways we read handwriting for signs of someone’s character” (30). Not only are readers able to quickly follow what is going on in the characters mind but easily compare it to what is being said to the character. The different shaped balloons add another level of understanding what is happening in the narrative. Carrier also adds “the balloon thus is not just a neutral container but another element in the visual field. Indeed, even identifying balloons as containers already is to hint at some ways of identifying their expressive significance” (44). These containers that enclose written information about the character and make up a huge part of the narrative are extremely important. It is not just about the words that are part of a speech bubble but the location, size, and outline of the word balloon. 

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