Rants from a college gamer

Reading Along the Lines

McCloud’s timeline structure ideas triggered some interesting thoughts for me, since it reminded me of the ‘cave drawing’ I had to decipher in class. The author had begun with the traditional comic structure, but at one point, to represent the character falling over a cliff, dropped along the Y axis for several panels before resuming it’s rightward progression. McCloud mentioned this same structure of what I will refer to as “directional storytelling” in his speech on TED.

This got me to thinking about the future of comics in general. One of the directional diagrams McCloud shows seem as though the comic is moving toward the audience, which was tricky for me to imagine. Comics are, after all, a two-dimensional media form. It’s easy to take a 1-dimensional story and tell it on a 2-dimensional plane, but it’s harder to imagine it moving along a third axis.

The closest I can imagine to a comic “coming at you” would be either a single animated panel on some sort of screen, or a lower budget but similar idea involving a flipbook. These seem too much like technologically backward televisions though. Perhaps as virtual reality becomes more fact than fiction, we will see something like three dimensional comic-games. Only time will tell.


04.24.2010 - Posted by | Media and Movies and Stuff, UW Classes


  1. I also enjoyed McCloud’s presentation. His explanation of the origin of comics was very interesting with the different parallel ways of showing comics. His monitor example did make me realize that comics can be adapted in various ways in order to express the idea behind the storytelling.

    Comment by oeclipse303 | 04.24.2010 | Reply

  2. Even with 2d planes though there is a lot of room for things besides just the normal frame. Though I rather find more comfort within some sort of constraint as that forces people to try and make the most out of the box. Sort of makes me think of 3d movies, such it works for some, but others it feels tacked on and unneeded if comics were to move beyond the box they would need to do so with a reason not just a show of flash.

    Comment by betweenusandthem | 04.25.2010 | Reply

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