My Critical Photo Essay

Here’s the link to my video and my works cited (video clips, music, and consulted resources (though I didn’t list ones I read but didn’t use within the project, sometimes you just have to read for your own knowledge base)). You can check out the NoSleep Podcast here, the subreddit here, and the CreepyPasta Archive here.

Works Cited

travel, WRIT371

What Were You Saying? I Forgot. Can I Google It?

Memory is a tough thing and it is something I struggle with on a DAILY basis. It started when I got my first phone; back when the phone was JUST for phone calls. Texting was new and no one did it yet, you sent an email from your phone instead. That when I went from knowing every phone number I’d ever been given to knowing… three, and two of those bring me food so I’m not sure if they even count (it’s a few more than three but for drama I’m gonna change it). It was a strange change when I had to start keeping my phone in my pocket and look up numbers to dial on the house phone if I wanted to call before 8pm (calls were free after 8pm).

My first phone that I had for years, and was the third owner, of was the second phone from the right. Its antenne was about a foot long.

Thompson addresses this with his short anecdote about the incident in Starbucks, though I’m never asked a friend a question in Starbucks without some rando answering it, and it really got me thinking to how awful my memory is, or at least my perception of it. I’m going to share with you how I realized I couldn’t rely on my phone for everything.

Last year, during Spring of 2017, I went to Tokyo for spring break. It feels like it was longer ago but when I look back through my planners it seems like it was yesterday.


There are a few posts I’ve actually made on this blog about this trip, but it was a series I didn’t finish and for continuity’s sake, I didn’t want to feel pressured to finish them just yet so, I set them to private.  But it was in Japan that I realized I am on my phone way too much.


I have a very rudimentary understanding of the Japanese language, mostly because I can’t remember it when I need to use it. But I figured I was halfway through my second semester of the basic language class and I’d just KNOW it when I got there. I had always wanted to go and instead of paying off some of my debt, I spent about 995 dollars on a flight and a hotel and went. There is a lot that I went through to get there, but it was fine in the end.

Now, I had never been to Japan before and I had no idea how complicated getting around would be. I had rented a pocket wi-fi but, when I picked it up from the post office in the terminal, it wasn’t charged. So getting to the train (which are never late and when they are the company releases a national apology) in the 5 minutes I had given myself from the purchase time was complicated. It was like I had literally forgotten how time worked.

17353301_10154558767269372_5692534856175956293_nI am not one to get lost, but I did in Tokyo. I did my best to memorize the map on the train but it was quickly gone from my memory once I stepped foot onto the platform. I instinctively reached for my phone which I had turned on in the airport and then realized I had been roaming for about an hour (thankfully I didn’t get any calls and the phone had just been on). But my phone was no use it had no service.

I felt stupid. Absolutely stupid that I hadn’t thought about this beforehand and I struggled to find my hotel (which was literally 150 meters from the surface entrance of the station I got off at). I thought I’d be able to rely on my phone right away, I had it all written down on my Google Drive. Guess what you need access to in order to get to your Google Drive?

My hotel was so nice to me, they could tell that I was lost, tired, and sweaty. The clerk17309816_10154553032404372_852940244408385175_n that checked me in did his best to speak English and I appreciated it because the Japanese I had practiced on the plane had apparently stayed there, recirculating in the vents above US-bound passengers heads (I also didn’t find them when I flew home).

I could have just printed a map onto a piece of paper and followed it from there. I didn’t because I rely so much on my phone I just figured it wouldn’t be an issue. But I think I needed to get lost in Tokyo. Not only is it one of the nicest cities I’ve ever been in, but it is also the best place to get lost. The crime rate is incredibly low (not to mention I’m a damn Ice Giant) and people keep to themselves. I needed to get lost though to re-engage my brain into how I grew up, surviving off of memory. It made me realized that I am too dependant, and if I did have a Japanese phone plan I wouldn’t have had this problem. I’m not entirely comfortable in how reliant I am (because the machines are coming for us all) but I now understand that I partially allow myself to be because it does make life easier.

Our brains aren’t chess-playing computers, they can’t compute every outcome ever in seconds. The amount of knowledge that our phones allow us to store and recall isn’t a bad thing. But I also think it’s important that we take a step back away from the loads of information we try to process on a daily basis and remember that our brains can remember things as well.

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I Got Lost In The Post Truth World Dinner Party I Wasn’t Invited Too

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I read more of the book than we are commenting on today because I couldn’t put it down. I’ve got a thing for conspiracy theories and the first part of this book just revels in the hinting of them. One is a theory I heard a lot about growing up, that 9/11 was an inside job (I was in the 5th grade when it happened) and the other the Kennedy Assassination. Most of what I knew about the Kennedy Assassination was what I learned from Dale Gribble on King of the Hill, but as time went on and I got older it was definitely one of those things that intrigued my interests. It was more interesting than something I found believable.

But, anyway…

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I appreciate how Manjoo has the dinner party example in the first chapter. Even though this book came out before the big social media boom (it came out the year I joined Facebook, when you still had to tell them which university you attended) I think that his example is quite telling to which direction the world has gone in. No one really checks their information anymore. Memes (even if I disagree with how broad of a term that has become) are spread without checking the information they contain and as the information is so easily shared. You see information that you agree with, hit share, and that’s it. Half the time the information is inaccurate or was created to echo what the intended sharer already believes. The other half of the time the meme is plagued with nonsensical minions or tinkerbell (I have limited knowledge into why this is a thing but I do know these memes are incredibly popular with woman over the age of 35 and I DO NOT understand it in the least).

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Seriously… what the hell is this and what does it mean?

I see more minion memes than ever because my friends are getting older and having kids and are overcoming that age boundary and I’m scared. Another reason I’m getting rid of a lot of my social media is because I can’t handle the weight of the minions much longer. Thankfully my mother hasn’t descended into the madness but I’m ever prepared for the day when it happens.

When we think of the information we exchange and the information that we want to hear as minions it is easier to track the ideas that Manjoo puts forth. Sure, we’ve got the Instagram models at the dinner party, we’ve got the family oversharing in facebook live streams and youtube videos, we’ve got the weird uncle that just shows up in your house during parties that is on his ninth beer and is fading between yelling and whispering about politics. All of these people attract their own audiences and those audiences start to refuse to listen to others. Minions begin to fight the tinkerbells, because both of them their they are right and the other must be wrong. More and more parties join the rabble and then it just becomes noise.

Noise that we don’t have a button to push to hear what we need to hear to help us grow.


I’ll Tell You What I What, What I Really Really Want

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This gif isn’t related to what we’re reading – kinda. But the title of Pariser’s 7th chapter has just… got this song stuck in my head. When I was five the Spice Girls were life, don’t judge.

What I really want to talk more about is Pariser’s section on robots. The reason being is because that is why I originally came to MSU. My plan was to build longevity robots to help keep seniors in their home longer. I don’t like nursing and care homes, I think there are people who are placed there just because they’ve become a burden on their family. Younger and younger seniors are being shipped off to care homes and I think it’s interesting the greed that is behind that. Anyway, get off my soap box about elder care. I wanted to (and still want to) build robots to help the elderly maintain their independence in the home. Not only to help with chores but because the elderly do face issues of being lonely. Loneliness is a prominent issue in the United States and the UK when it comes to the elderly. Which is why programs like A Place at the Table, an adult foster care home in Minnesota, are so important. People get to busy to care for their aging family members and APatT works to give the elderly in their care social experiences to help keep them happy and healthy. It prides itself on providing personalized care for every senior living with them (though their license only allows 4 people at a time). My idea that robots can provide a lot of these same services isn’t false, but APatT provides something a machine can’t, the human based interactions that we crave.

That being said, I am so uncomfortable with the idea that I can be reduced to a code in a system. I know I already am. I know that this blog post connects with my social media while that social media is found via a string of letters and with my involvement in socialImage result for matrix stream gif media almost my entire life is accessible via that string of letters. Come December that is going to change, because I’m removing myself from a lot of social media in the coming year (with graduation, prospective jobs, and so forth). But there will always be a string of letters that makes up who I am online. Pariser touches on topics in chapter 7 that make me so uncomfortable. I hate the idea of facial recognition software, if only because I don’t want to be accused of crimes I didn’t commit but am accused of committing because the software said it was me. I always feel like I need to be Arnold Schwarzenegger in Total Recall when he goes through security. I have a gif for that but it’s very flashy and I don’t want anyone coming across it and it triggering a seizure disorder.

We are numbers already. Everything about us comes down to a number. Our numbers are bought and sold everyday.

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It Isn’t Broken If I Say It’s Broken If You Say It Isn’t

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Godin seems like the dad in every 90s movie. He thinks he’s super funny and makes corny jokes, but at the same time has some very interesting and informative things to say. This video is from 2006, my freshman/sophomore year in high school. Websites like his weren’t common like they are today, memes weren’t really memes yet and we didn’t call them that. But we’d howl over Badger, Badger and stupid signs like it was 2018. Now we can create memes on our phones without having to know some level of animation or Photoshop. When there weren’t content creators as we know them now.

I know that this post is suppose to be about design, and I didn’t fully get that until I was trying to figure out what I was watching a TED talk about using colors on medical reports. The Wysocki article was harder to read, because of the design and layout of the article. I won’t like I gave up on that a few times and I’m still not sure if I totally understand what it is I read; which I, again, contribute to the format. It felt so disjointed and broken. Which brings up back to Godin.

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Godin talks about broken things; things that not everyone will think are broken. Like the piece of art that Banksy shredded right after it was sold (Vox is going to disagree with me here). Because the piece was ‘broken’ it was immediately more valuable to those willing to buy it. It wasn’t broken to them OR they found the brokenness of the piece added to its perfection. I personally find it ridiculous because Banksy has become such a commercialized commodity while still promoting itself as a anti-mainstream entity. I know that not everyone will agree with me on my idea that Banksy isn’t just one person but is an idea within itself. That theory comes from how accessible the art has become, how quickly new pieces appear on different corners of the earth (sometimes within the same day). It isn’t that it isn’t art because anything can be considered to art to someone; but it is something that has lost the originally significance that I think it once held. It’s hard to explain how a piece by Banksy is something I no longer consider art because of it’s commercialization but I also support artists selling their work. I think that has something to do with how I feel a bit betrayed by it. When I was younger Banksy was a cool idea; it had a lot to do with no selling out and keeping true the the art form. And I feel betrayed now that the pieces are selling at auction for millions of dollars.

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We could say that the website Godin refers to, thisisbroken.com, is also broken. There hasn’t been an update since July of 2007. The website still works but without a update it has become dated and ‘broken’ in some way. Broken meaning that it no longer serves the purpose it once did and it’s purpose now is to stand as a relic of how far we have comes.


Critical Photo Essay Proposal

I always find myself thinking of what I can do as a final project in classes and I usually find myself coming back to the same kisspng-slender-the-eight-pages-slenderman-drawing-fan-ar-slender-man-5ac0c8129d70f7.5609326015225835706449subject. Others who have taken classes with me in the past are probably sick of what I’m about to propose, but my critical photo essay is going to be within the realm of digital folklore and the horrors therein.

As a short horror writer I am no stranger to the ‘scary stories’ that one comes across online. I’m a subscriber to the creepypasta wiki, the reddit forum r/nosleep, and am a fan of several short horror narrators.  I’m also no stranger to the news that surrounds these types of stories. Online horror forums have become the Image result for smile dogbreeding ground for news stories warning parents of the dangers of being involved in these stories as well as real life crime being committed in their name.

My goal with this project is to explore how the writing of a creepypasta has grown out of longer fictions, like those of Stephen King, and how it has become applicable for such a large audience. What used to be scary stories to just tell in the dark have evolved into something that is readily available at every time of day and has had to adapt to be quickly read and, more importantly, quickly written. My question to be researched is:

“How has the written horror story changed over time to adapt to the ever changing, growing, and more technologically adept world?”

“Why is this important to you?” or “Again, Kas? You’ve done this project so many times already, why again?” are questions that may be crossing Image result for creepypastayour mind. It isn’t that I do the same project over and over again, but that I continue to expand my knowledge and understanding of a topic. This is important because this is what I do. As a horror writer it is my job to know how the genre is evolving and how I can properly apply my abilities. With a world like ours I know that in order to be at the top of my game and to be continue to be relevant in a quickly changing genre I need to know these things to help predict future moves.

I’ve done so preliminary research for this project, specifically, within the following sources:

The Genre of Horror by Mgr. Viktória Prohászková

This thesis is about the horror genre, outlining it, and describing the dominant features of the genre and variations of content. It provides a brief overview of the development process in the realm of literature, film, and computer games; outlining its appearance in other fields of culture and art. It characterizes the readers and viewers of horror the horror genre and their motives for seeking the genre. This is important to my piece as it helps shed light on the workings of the genre and how it goes about defining subgenre and application.

How To Write A CreepyPasta

I include this website because it is important that I study how the writing process between the different stories has changed over time. It discusses what types of fear an author can subscribe their story too and characterizes the narrator as someone giving a first person account of a true story. Creepypastas have helped the genre evolve to being a first person experience from the third person narrative (thinking along the lines of IT, Ringu, or At The Mountains of Madness; which are all told from the third person).

The Lure of Horror by Dr. Christian Jarrett

Though the Critical Photo Essay isn’t a paper on psychology, understanding the psychology of what draws someone into the horror-sphere will aid in the accuracy and the pinning down of why people are interested. This essay gives information on why people engage with the things that scare them and theories on meta-emotion. The essay also talks on Dr. Norbert Mundorf and his studies into the slasher films of the 80s and 90s. The reference section of this essay is also very vast and will aid in further research.

Limits of horror by Fred Botting
(Montana State University Library, 3rd Floor)

This book delves into the history of monsters and ghosts and how the have evolved over the last 200 years, as well as the means of conveyance that have evolved with them (from fiction to film to video games). This book includes the evolution from gothic to cybergothic and looks at the range of literary, cinematic, and popular culture while examining the changes of the genre and the questions they pose for understand contemporary culture. This book also examines concepts like the uncanny, the sublime, terror, shock, and abjection in terms of the bodily implications. It advance current critical and theoretical debates on gothic horror and proposes a new theory of cultural production based on Freud’s idea of the ‘death drive’.

“Spread the Word”: Creepypasta, Hauntology, and an Ethics of the Curse by Line Henriksen

This article deals mostly with one of the original creepypastas, Smile.dog, and the ideas behind haunted email chains; as well as digital urban legends. This article goes on to explore modern ethics in a digital world. Through the lens of Jacques Derrida’s concept of hauntology– a haunted ontology– this article explores what digital monsters and curses may teach us about those ethics as a question responding to that which haunts and hoaxes.


The Creative Process and How I Spend ~2100 Words Talking About Mine

We’re finally done withe McCloud. It feels like it has taken forever, even though it’s been a few chapters every week, I feel like it’s been months. My brain has been so foggy though, so that may have something to do with it. I’m going to warn you upfront that this post is L O N G because I feel like some of my other posts have been lacking and I want to make up for it.


Coincidentally, this post falls at the same time as me finishing up a project for another class that I have spent at least 200 hours on (that’s about average. Almost everyday for the past ~2 weeks, 8-12 hours a day and a few days I did 16-18 hours, because I am insane apparently). As it was for class I wasn’t getting paid for it, but there’s a good chance an internship in this wouldn’t pay anyway, so I got the experience without awful stress of the internship. Just the awful stress of feeling like I’d never be done and that it’s not going to turn out. I’ve watched it so many times that I’m unsure of how it is going to land with its intended audience. I’m not even done with it yet either, I’ve still got audio to work with and adjust and some scenes to clean up. I also have the hiccups while writing this. It’s a big part of why my comments and other work has been late in my other classes, but thankfully I’ve got some great professors who understand that sometimes I bite off a bit much and are willing to work with me. I’m also proud how much I’ve got done even if I pushed myself a little too hard and it resulted in me getting sick and remaining sick still.

But I want to talk about Chapter 7 in relation to all of this. Because I’m finally in possession of a current example that I’m going to exploit.


The Idea

As soon as the Syllabus was live in LIT431RH I knew what chapter I wanted to do for our group project but I wasn’t sure how to do it. Then, as absolutely cheesy as it sounds, I thought of scene right before I fell asleep. It was one of those thoughts that you know you should write down because you’re going to forget, but you don’t


because you’ve reached perfect comfy and perfect comfy is more important that remembering something silly. The whole thought was of a woman standing behind a bar in a dark room and it was a close up of her left shoulder. THAT WAS IT. That was literally all I had. The idea that there was a man at the bar and that there was something else going on between them would come later. But at that moment I knew I would need to get something done in a bar. I think another reason I didn’t write it down is because it wasn’t a fully feasible idea yet. Sure I had a camera phone but that wouldn’t be good enough so I took my time and tried to plot out some other ideas. I knew that the Sirens chapter took place in a bar but the sudheading said it should be used for those of a musical persuasion and I thought that I would save that for someone else (at the time I had zero audio editing experience. Now a month later I can say I have at least some).

How’s My Form?

Ultimately I hatched it as a film. Not knowing where to start I realized I should probably find an adequate


camera to shoot with. I found a place in town that gave a student discount and that would let me rent several thousands of dollars worth of equipment of camera equipment for very little money (in comparison). It was the first time in my life I’d ever held a professional camera and I felt really cool. Before I ever picked up the camera though I know I had to convince SOMEONE to be in it. I couldn’t be in it because I was directing. But also, I know I’ve got a great face most days, but the rest of me belongs behind the camera, so that’s where I am (you can laugh at that, I know what I look like. I’m completely comfortable with it and work hard everyday to promote body positivity which means accepting that I make jokes about myself CONSTANTLY. IT. IS. OKAY. TO. LAUGH. AT. THEM. I. PROMISE.). In my head the woman I wanted was on the shorter side (which doesn’t mean much when it comes from me because almost everyone is short), dark hair, dark eyes, and the man taller than her but was quiet. In that class though, I barely knew any men. So I asked around and a lot of people didn’t want to be on camera. Fine. Then I found Matthew and Cassidy and it was perfect. A plus to that was they mostly had the costumes and that saved me some time. To get the Bowler hat I wanted I just called my hat guy and he hooked me up, lent it to me from his stock (he does costume rentals for theaters and we’ve been friends for a while now).

An Idiom for You, An Idiom for Me

But how was I going to shoot this? What sort of look was I going for. I realized that the hat I had on the way and the other props and costumes we’d organized were things that didn’t fit quite right to have an entirely


modern setting. That was okay though, because one of the first things the internet taught me about shooting a independent film was that if you do it in black and white, no one can tell if it sucks (also that you need permits to film on most city streets, I’m sure you can figure out which one I ignored *shhh*). So I was sure to pick colors that were somewhat neutral. But I needed a ‘damsel’ and realized that if we did this right, it could almost be a noir film. Or at least the prelude to one before the hard-boiled detective gets put on the case and solves the problems and get the girl (or in the case of the Maltese Falcon, sends the girl to prison). So I used as many film noir tricks that I could, my male character was down on his luck and thought he had met a girl who liked him (though they had never spoken) and he slowly starts to lose it as time goes on. I had the pessimism and menace down. It was a perfect fit and I loved the idea. One thing that I did want though was red. The color red was something important as it represented the lust he felt toward her and how the lust resulted the way it did (I’m not spoiling it because we haven’t released it yet). So the film was black, white, and red. I don’t know if you know HOW MUCH RED is in the world but it is A LOT. But that was just apart of the Sony Vegas learning process.

My Creation Lives

We filmed over three days total I think. It was super quick. Getting half the spaces we needed to film was hard though. Thankfully Plonk (my bar scene was going to be amazing) came through right away but finding a stage to film our finale in was near impossible. Theaters in Bozeman are not friendly to film projects and some wanted a couple thousand dollars up front. I don’t mind paying someone for their time but it was immense. Securing permission took a lot of time the first week. Cassidy finally remembered taking a tango class in the Romney gym and I was able to secure the dance studio for 4 hours. There were a few shots where we ignored protocol and one shot where I almost got hit by a car, but we go


them. Through the cold and wind we got them. There were scenes we had to change a lot because filming them became impossible without permission. But even after all the filming it was now the process of fitting everything together. I know that there are lots of takes when it comes to film and that something that takes you 4 hours to do can yield as little as a minute or so of footage. You have to cut out the first few seconds usually before you say “action”, or in my case “go”. Then missteps or mistakes need to be cut. Editing together footage to keep in time with a dance scene was super hard. Didn’t think it would be as hard as it was but it was. You have to keep stuff that goes with the continuity of the scene too. You can’t have something happen and then show it happening again in the same scene without an indication as to whether you’ve switch POV or not. Things have to be is the same place. People have to look the same. Whenever I think of continuity issues I always think of the BBC show Merlin where Merlin, Colin Morgan, had to be under an umbrella if he were outside because everyone was nervous that if he were to tan between takes that is would effect the continuity of the show. So that’s always a big thing that you have to be careful of in film.

Let’s Get Shit Done

I had an idea when I started how much work this would be. I knew what I was getting into and took every opportunity I had to learn the program I was using and all the things that go along with that. I’ve watched so many youtube tutorials on how to do cool tricks in Vegas that I think I’m pretty competent in it at this


point. My art school background helped here a lot as well. I knew how to cancel out certain colors in scenes and was able to identify how the scene should look overall. Actually sitting down and working on it for so long has reminded me that patience is key and that I need to practice it more. I don’t think I would have been able to figure everything out in time without Youtube. I learned the audio editing part of the project by cramming a bunch of tutorials into a weekend (something I should have spent more time on but I didn’t know it was going to be to the extent it has turned into). Without those videos this wouldn’t be done yet, it’d be far from it. I knew though that if I kept my head and if I stopped when I was getting frustrated I wouldn’t burn out. I burn out more while I try to work through frustration because it doesn’t work and then I just don’t want to look at what it is in front of me. That was key to this craft.

(Hang in there, we’re almost done. I know it’s a lot of words but you’ve got this)

How Are Others Going To Appreciate This

Now this project isn’t technically done yet. That’s okay though, I still have a bit to work on it. However I know for a lot of people watching it there is going to be massive focus on just how it looks. They’re not going to see the work that was put in. They might in some scenes where I could conceal or cancel other reds in the world to make sure my red stood out, definitely be able to see those. But I also think that it’s important


for me to remember that that is okay. Not everyone can do what I did in such a short period of time. I’m starting to find my niche with projects and I like how finishing things makes me feel. I might even go on to finish a novel (finally). But when I apply the project to McCloud’s process I see a lot of what I did paralleled, even though I didn’t read it a month ago when this started. I know there are many people, even in my own major, who are more adept at things like this than I am. I know some of them may criticize it. If there is one thing I wish I could do it would be to give myself enough time to disassociate emotionally from this project. That hasn’t happened so I’ll be running with pure emotion when we present on Wednesday. Let’s see if I can be okay with that.


A Moment In Time

I think that McCloud’s chapter on time is very interesting and it’s something that is address in comics in a very different way than how it’s addressed in, say, film. In comics it is super important to understand how the reader is going to read the scene, with film it’s like the viewer can see everything at once and understand what is going on. Whereas a comic artist will know that a long panel portrays a pause between the characters, a filmmaker just continues to film in the same scene.

Drawing from my experience in the last post I think it’s important for people who are writing comics to understand the passage of time more than what we’d expect from other types of authors. Jumping from frame to frame quickly doesn’t give them impression of time passing slowly.
Time and Motion are very similar in the way we move through comics. Each needs to be expressed deliberately and expertly. It was a problem that our comic had in high school, no one was ever shown moving and the passage of time was usually assumed as a single moment. Creating drama for us was literally having a character’s face filled in with more pen than usual. Any sort of movement was specific to a character. Like if someone flapped their arms in protest, the arms would simply be a few quick strokes in the place of the arms. But other than that there wasn’t any real motion.

(E)motion was the easiest to show, mostly because you can use static images to show emotion. There isn’t any sort of cross panel change that has to happen in order for 26de946068fcaaa3383eeb93992fb311someone to understand passing emotion. Sure someone may look disappointed for eight frames, but as soon as the face changes in frame 9 we know the characters mood has changed. We don’t need to see the actual movement of the face. When a mood gets progressively worse I’d say that is how emotion is incorporated into the motion of time in a comic.  Like a character going from confused, to angry, to embarrassed (I actually couldn’t find a comic that emulated this but I’m typing this through some wicked cold medicine and just want to go back to bed).

Maybe emotion is the start to understanding how physical motion and time move in comics. Like when you start building with lego. Emotion is that single lego, a single frame of a comic. Once you add a few other pieces and have a foundation built, you’ve moved how it changes frame by frame, maybe even back tracking sometimes to other ’emotions’ and you’re showing how physical movement is happening frame by frame. We can watch the bricks move as you build. By the time you’re done you’ve got a perfect little model about the passage of time.


This Is Not A Blog Post But Simply a Visual Representation of a Blog Post


This is actually our author “photo” from the front page of the ‘comic’ we did. The artist I worked with has definitely improved on her style since then, but this was the bomb when we were in school. Also don’t comment on the clothing. I wore that… pretty much everyday.

I’m actually a fan of McCloud and I’m glad to be reading something that I can identify with. I used to co-author a short comic with a friend of mine, back in the day when a notebook and a pen were the only tools we had and our friends had to hand the notebook around to read. So I have some appreciate with what McCloud does in Understanding Comics. Comics are hard, you want characters to be distinct but at the same time (at least on the part of the artist) you want them to be easier to draw. Overly detailed characters take up a lot of time that can be better spent doing other things, so McCloud’s section in chapter two is there to remind you that the character just needs to be recognizable. I like to think that the more simple a character is the more you, as a reader, are able to fill up those ’empty’ spaces and put yourself into those spaces. For me it helps characters that, otherwise, we wouldn’t be able to identify with. It’s a technique that McCloud calls masking (with some combination of background involvement, but I’m not talking about that).


This was the last painting I did while I was in art school. It came out okay at best.

Now I was never the artist in our duo and at the time probably couldn’t be bothered with blank space in the frame. That was okay though, she understood it. Not everything needed to be filled in, not every prop in the scene needed to be detailed out; we just knew what it was. We knew that what ever we put on the page is what was there. If there were lockers in the frame or a large caravan (we did a real life and everyday comic as well as a comic called The Red Circus) we just assumed that there was something in there, but we didn’t need to show it. At least I did, I guess I shouldn’t speak for her. The readers also understood that they didn’t need to see the inside of the caravan in order to know that it was probably bloody inside (The Red Circus was not an all ages comic, it was (for us at the time) quite gory).


I am, however, quite proud of the food art I do.

One thing I want to point out, is how McCloud is avoiding actually using the Mickey Mouse logo but mentions it through out. Especially on page 64, I didn’t realize what he was showing us right away until I read “Sometimes, a mere shape or outline…” I understand this to mean that he didn’t have the rights to the images but still, his point was made before I even realized it. I feel similar to this as I do when he references how we see ourselves in everything, like cars and soda can tops.

I do wish I had this book when I had gone about my early comic career. Maybe we would have stuck with it. Now I just make memes like the rest of the internet.

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One last thing I want to add, is that I recently read Grim Grisley’s Frankenstein and McCloud’s concept of “The pipe is not a pipe but a drawing of a pipe…(and so forth)” is on the wall of the cabin where the Creature learns to speak and read. It was pointed out in the class we read it for and I thought that was a nice tie in with what we’re discussing in this class now.