Understanding Comics | Discussion Questions | Bob Allsop
1. The author discusses how the more simplified the image, specifically the face, becomes the more universal it becomes, the more people it describes. He later implies that the fascination with cartoons, especially in children, is that we can see ourselves in them. Why then do the most successful cartoons seem to be more midrange, leaning toward realistic, in their visual style? In theory, wouldn’t the simple two dots and two lines face be the most relatable to the greatest number of individuals?
2. On pages 32-33, the author says, “We humans are a self-centered race… We see ourselves in everything.” Is it as simple as we see ourselves in everything or do we subconsciously or consciously design this way?
3. On pages 42-43 the author discusses “lines to BE” and “lines to SEE”. This immediately brought to mind the use of entourage in architectural drawings and renderings, specifically silhouettes vs realistic figures. Discuss your own thoughts and feelings toward the use of one form vs the other and what each might mean for your representation.
4. At one point in the reading the illustration of the author is drawn much more realistically and he asks “Would you have listened to me if I looked like this?” He then follows with, “I doubt it! You would have been far too aware of the messenger to fully receive the message.” I felt that had a realistic style been used up to that point and throughout the reading that it may have been a bit distracting from the content but that the message would still have gotten through. What are your thoughts on how the author chose to represent himself and how that may or may not have affected your ability to receive the message?
5. On page 40 the author begins to discuss the ability for things to move between the realm of concept and sense, from the conceptual to the sensual world. Discuss your thoughts on this and give real world examples of things crossing over from one world to another.