Comic's, Multimodality, Scott McCloud, Twitter

Multimodal Affordances of Web Comics.

Breakdown of Affordances:

Figure One: Navigation bar. Source: http://scottmccloud.com

The scottmcloud.com webpage itself is extremely easy to navigate. Different multimodal tools such as images, hyperlinks, video’s, and contact points allow for great interaction. The page layout shows a very linear ‘F’ layout through the use of panels and gutters – demonstrating a traditional comic book style. The single navigation bar (figure one) runs along the top of the page helping direct visitors keeping the layout simple to all viewers.

However, some pages appear to be slightly over-crowded with  hyper-links, this can make it difficult for the viewer to distinguish what is data, information or knowledge. Thus causing navigation of the site to be more complicated. Even though the use of hyper-links is good, it is over powering at the same time and can lead to unnecessary information being relayed to the audience.

The use of imagery and colours (figure two) brings the site alive luring audiences in, obtaining more attention-economy. This causes the site to become more popular. Even though the site is strong with imagery and comic references there is still a predominant amount of text used. The use of person pronouns such a ‘my’ and ‘I’ draws the viewers into the site as it makes the content more personal. According to Jones and Hafner even with the use of ‘images, video and other modes of function in digital communication […] written language still remains out primary tool for communication…’ (2012: 67). Hence with the host of the website creating a sense of interpersonal communication, once again will help the site gain further attention economy.

Figure two: Printed comics. Source: http://scottmccloud.com/2-print/index.html

Analysis:

Using Michael Halliday’s functions the ideational use of the grammar and language are both appropriate for the purpose and the type of website it is. The use of ‘tags’ ‘hyper-links’ and ‘categories’ (figure three) help identify specific areas and items on the website, making navigation easier. The use of personal pronouns helps draw the viewer in, in turn encouraging the viewer to form opinions and involve themselves in the data being provided by the host. Ultimately this lets the viewer decided what they would like to become information and what content they would like to reserve as knowledge later on. The textual content of the website shows the host goes into detail as to what inspired him and why he has done certain projects. Statements such as ‘But I guess a little in-process change is inevitable when you’re as slow as I am!’ (McCloud 2016) shows the creator of the webpage trying to create interpersonal connections with their audience.

Figure three: ‘On the Drawing Board: The Visual Communication Project’. Source: http://scottmccloud.com

Conclusion: 

In my opinion the website works well. The clear layout is easy to navigate, making the website appealing to not only experienced internet users but also beginners. The inter-semiotic relations between the images and the textual content of the website help create allure – again creating a greater attention economy. The inter-semiotic relations of videos and tutorials along with the textual content and images can also help aspiring comic artists, leading back to what the audience will choose to leave as data, use as information and keep as knowledge.

Bibliography:

Jones, R.H. and Hafner, C.A. (2012) Understanding Digital Literacies: A Practical Introduction. New York: Routledge.

McCloud, S. (2018) Good Morning, Comics [online] available from <http://scottmccloud.com> [2nd January 2018]

McCloud, S. (2018) The March of Time [online] available from <http://scottmccloud.com/2016/12/13/the-march-of-time/> [2nd January 2018]

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