söndag 8 april 2012

Storytelling 14: Closure

Here is an example of that comics storytelling speciality – indeed, necessity – that Scott McCloud has dubbed "closure". The term refers to how we as readers fill in what happens between panels – in this case, Jeremy's father picking him up and throwing him into his room and telling him he's grounded. 

Here, the technique of skipping over this action-filled event is utilized to enhance the humor of it -- it's funnier if the reader gets to imagine it because the reader can embellish the scene in his/her mind's eye in a way that even a great artist like Jim Borgman can't, especially in the small space available to him in a comic strip. 

Also, the speed with which Jeremy is whisked into his room is emphasized by not even spending one single panel on it -- that's how fast it is, too fast to even capture in a picture! This speed is also emphasized by Jeremy's comment in that last panel ("I'm not sure… I all happened pretty fast" – in other words, too fast for him to really understand what was happening). 

Another factor enhancing the humor is how, in the third panel, Walter sort of freezes in mid-gesture when Jeremy makes his snarky comment. This not only gives the reader a forewarning that something's about to happen, it also emphasizes the swiftness of his response -- he goes from frozen to having thrown Jeremy into his room in the space of, well, less than one panel. 

…And as comics speeds go, that is pretty impressive!

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