At long last, Chapter Three is complete! Although it’s overall structure/length stayed more or less the same from my initial notes, this chapter just kept growing on me in complexity as I got deeper into it. This second half of the chapter was all about how comics work – and in this metacommentary approach – which is easy enough to do when i can point to existing comics as examples, here I kept having to invent page structures and little narratives within the main discussion that demonstrated what i was exploring.
Anyhow, a little bit about the two new pages here. The first, dealing with the architectonic nature of a comics page – in some ways sums up most of what i’ve done over all the chapters and hints at where i’m going. The opening panel reprises text from the beginning of Ch3, while the imagery harkens back to the page on the Enlightenment from Ch2. The second “panel” or block of panels really – conflates the imagery from Ch1 with reflections on text and sequential thinking from earlier in the chapter. And that final block in the top row weaves together the pages on simultaneity and distinct types of awareness also from earlier in the chapter. One important note about this page – it’s about how the organizational structure of the page conveys essential meaning – and as such it’s one where i designed the structure before I knew what went in ANY of the panels. This is not a terribly uncommon practice for me – but usually I start with at least some semblance of what is entailed within. Here – the spaces suggested images, which then prompted corresponding text, and so far in a feedback cycle. A final note – besides wanting to verbally and visually reference Chris Ware, I was also thinking of some of the space cutting layouts Frank Quitely has done. When I ended up thinking of Alice’s dismissal “you’re nothing but a pack of cards,” that led me to Quitely’s collage imagery from “Flex Mentallo” which I’m definitely referencing for that final right corner. The last page reworks ideas and images from my earlier journal piece The Shape of Our Thoughts, of which much of this chapter builds on – including the name.
I’ve reposted below the previously posted pages constituting the second half of Ch3 that take up my theorizing on comics so they can be easily read in sequence, though you can dig through older posts to get a little more background on the pages. Also, you can get the whole chapter by starting with part one “amphibious refraction” here and then “where words fail” which leads immediately to this lengthy final sequence. Pleased to have this chapter behind me – so I can start work on Chapter Four – now! Thanks for following along, Nick