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Structuralism, in its simplest form, is the practice of understanding the ‘metaphor of language’, how we use the language, its structure, and how we interpret it. When it comes to language, on their own, words have no meaning. It is use as a society that assign meaning to them. The word ‘Dog’ has no association with an actual animal on its own, we have assigned the three letter word ‘Dog’, to refer to a specific four legged, tailed, usual domesticated animal. Structuralism can be broken down into a signifier, and a signified. In this case, the word ‘Dog’ is the signifier, and the animal itself is the thing being signified.
Post structuralism, moves past signifiers and signs, and examines how we shape or reality based on our use of language.
Roland Barthes and Myth as Post structuralism:
M. Laird – Wilding (2017) McLuhan Temp Animatic and Audio. [Online] YouTube. June 23rd. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUfZV6jqeB8 [Last Accessed: 23/06/2017]
One I have brought up before, but an interesting and important TED talk. Scott McCloud discusses the importance of visuals when telling a narrative. That, in this case, comics are a visual medium, but attempt to represent all senses, and the abstract nature of both image and text.
- TED (2009) Scott McCloud: Understanding Comics. [Online] YouTube. January 14th. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fXYckRgsdjI [Last Accessed: 21/06/2017]
Great example from RSA, as it uses both text and image to convay the ideas they need to discuss. The use of the two combined is very effective, and helps the viewer to combine the idea with the words associated.
- The RSA (2010) RSA ANIMATE: Changing Animation Paradigm. [Online] YouTube. October 14th. Available from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U [Last Accessed: 21/06/2017]
- Lowe, R. & Schnotz, W. (2008) Learning with Animation: Research Implications for Design. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.
While working on storyboards, I have been diving quiet heavily into different styles of comic books. I have been using them as a reference as to how to convey meaning through images. I have gone through several different types of comic, to attempt to understand different methods.
Congress of the Animals by Jim Woodring is completely silent, with no dialogue, and around 100 pages of pure imagery. Despite the lack of narration, the piece still has a clear narrative. Its formatting style acts a lot like an animatic, as panels seem to be closer time wise, allowing you to see a motion or action almost completely.
Black Hole by Charles Burns, while quiet dense when it comes to text in places, the art conveys a lot of emotion, and brings sense to mind, through its use of unconventional imagery. Entire chapters, at times can be seen as hallucinations or dreams without text, that still convey a heavy amount of meaning.
Batman: The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller and Klaus Janson, while a classic, uses an interest form of panelling to denote which form of media is being discussed. For example, when the news is being shown, the panelling becomes reminiscent of a television screen. Meant as a way to convey the change of media to the reader.
Finally, Silk Vol. 1: Sinister by Robbie Thompson and Stacy Lee has a very interesting visual style. Providing thick outlines around the most important elements in frame, such as the main character, or items that are intended to be the focus. This provides an easy way for the reader to focus on the most important details, story wise.
- Burns, C. (2005) Black Hole. Jonathan Cape: London.
- Miller, F. & Janson, K. (1986) Batman: The Dark Knight Returns. DC Comics: New York.
- Thompson, R. & Lee, S. (2016) Silk Vol. 1: Sinister. Marvel Comics: New York.
- Woodring, J. (2011) Congress of the Animals. Fantagraphics Books: Seattle.