Art, Comics May 25, 2019

Without getting too deeply into it at this stage I have started the process of reflecting on some of the dimensions associated with the thinking about comics. Here is an initial basic formula I have put together relative to developing an overall appreciation of the thinking of the philosophical aspects of comics.

In comics, this static, visual form, there exists the opportunity to study its contributing elements in order to examine its design and better understand its propensity for visual communication. Comics are usually constructed from the juxtaposition of words and images in a series of panels on pages, although, alternatively they might be arranged for display on digital spaces such as screens.

As we are dealing with the expression and visual communication of arrangements of words and images in a flat space we enter the domain of the graphical and into the domain of aesthetics and this becomes an appropriate area of philosophy to study.

The thinking of comics as a hybrid form of aesthetics, of a combination of writing and of drawing, of this plus that and not one or the other, and this may become problematic. In some instances a comic may consist solely of words and at other times just drawings, but generally the form is constructed from the combination of words and images. It is not often found to be either one or the other, words or images, but more commonly a combination of the two. In this sense it may be perceived as a dual or hybrid form of expression and visual communication. This juxtaposition of the disparate forms of writing and drawing may be perceived as something of a misfit or, as it is sometimes labelled, a ‘mongrel’ form.

And things start to get messy around this point of breaking the aesthetic aspects down into the contrasting elements of writing and drawing and raising the notion that in comics construction the writing may be “drawn” in an expressive manner and not necessarily remain in a typed or scripted form. Similarly the drawing may be “written” in the sense that it may be “scripted” in freehand with a pen and ink in the same manner as a cursive writing or drawing style, etcetera.

For this initial blog post about the matter, I would simply conclude that comics can be perceived as works of visual communication constructed from a combination of the elements of words and images and, philosophically speaking, may be studied in terms of its aesthetic aspects. More to follow in my next blog post about this subject.

My previous posts, apart from the posts on comics, form part of my graphic based material that includes painting, printmaking, cartooning and scrapbooking:  THE GRAFIK GUITAR BOOKBINDING THE GRAFIK GUITAR CARTOON MORE CARTOONS RESEARCH CARTOONS UNIVERSITY CARTOONS POSTCARD POSTCARD-Second Series   POSTCARD-Third Series  POSTCARD-Fourth Series  POSTCARD-Fifth Series   PRINT Fish One   PRINT Fish Two SCRAPBOOK  SCRAPBOOK-A Few Pages More  plus all of the posts documenting the production of my own comic/graphic novel BLOTTING PAPER.  Issue #1:  No.1   No.2  No.3  No.4   No.5   No.6   No.7   No.8   No.9   No.10   No.11   No.12   No.13  Issue #2:  No.14   No.15   No.16 No.17   No.18   No.19   No.20   No.21   No.22   No.23   No.24   No.25   No.26   No.27   No.28   No.29  Issue #3:  No.30   No.31   No.32   No.33   No.34   No.35   No.36  Issue #4:  No.37   No.38   No.39   No.40   No.41  No.42   No.43   No.44  Issue #5:  No.45   No.46   No.47   No.48


Creator and former Director of the Master of Animation course at the University of Technology, Sydney, Dr. Michael Hill has a Master's degree in animation and a PhD in comics studies, prompting his introduction on ABC Radio as “Doctor Comics”. A member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Comic Art, and former member of the Comics Grid Journal of Comics Scholarship and the Advisory Committee of the Q-Collection Comic Book Preservation Project, he has delivered public lectures on Comics, Anime and Manga and held academic directorships in Interdisciplinary Studies, Animation, Design and Visual Communication. Having donated his collection of research materials on Australian alternative comics to the National Library of Australia he is now active in the artistic domain, writing, drawing and printmaking, creating art postcards and prints and his own graphic novel Blotting Paper: The Recollected Graphical Impressions of Doctor Comics.

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