SCREEN-L Archives

March 2010, Week 2


Options: Use Monospaced Font
Show Text Part by Default
Condense Mail Headers

Message: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Topic: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]
Author: [<< First] [< Prev] [Next >] [Last >>]

Print Reply
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Thu, 11 Mar 2010 20:14:57 -0500
text/plain; charset=UTF-8
text/plain (49 lines)
I chose the wrong word with "static" since the idea is that early comics were using images and transitions in a dynamic way that I feel certain influenced the development of continuity editing (though in what ways and how much can even be documented was the question in my original post).  What I meant is that comics often repeat images, usually a background, in a way that parallels early film tableau.  See for two 1905 examples the top line of or the entire comic at  It's interesting that this is still a valid and unremarkable technique in comics but in film a tableau in that sense is now more or less only seen in art films.

McCloud's books are solid.  I feel that Eisner's two nonfiction explanatory ones are mostly unhelpful though his Shop Talk collection of interviews is insightful.  One problem with exploring how any of this might have interacted with film development is that comics criticism is very roughly in a stage where film criticism was in say the 1950s - a lot of reviews and fan commentary but more detailed or serious work is mainly devoted to thematic and historical approaches.  There's not much in the way of sustained stylistic analysis and in fact much of the vocabulary and concepts to support that hasn't been developed as far as I can tell, even vocabulary from film and art history/criticism are used sporadically and sometimes even incorrectly.  (Even reading more technical interviews with comics creators doesn't reveal much even though you can find an awful lot about brush techniques or what different brands of pens/pencils are capable of doing.)  The closest I've found are Robert Harvey's Art of the Funnies and Art of the Comic Book, both of which I would highly recommend, though I feel sure there must be something in journals I haven't seen.


-----Original Message-----
>From: "Larsson, Donald F" <[log in to unmask]>
>Sent: Mar 11, 2010 11:47 AM
>To: "[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>, "[log in to unmask]" <[log in to unmask]>
>Subject: RE: [SCREEN-L] comics & development of continuity editing
>See McCay's "Little Nemo in Slumberland" comics--anything but static!  
>There's a brief overview that cites "The Katzenjammer Kids" as establishing principles of continuity in comics by 1897 and some useful references at  Besides Scott McCloud's "Understanding Comics," which is listed on the site, it might be worth a look at Will Eisner's "Comics and Sequential Art" and "Graphic Storytelling and Visual Narrative."
>Don Larsson
>"Only connect!"   --E.M. Forster
>Donald F. Larsson, Professor
>English Department, Minnesota State University, Mankato
>Email: [log in to unmask]
>Mail: 230 Armstrong Hall, Minnesota State University
>        Mankato, MN  56001
>Office Phone: 507-389-2368
>From: Film and TV Studies Discussion List [[log in to unmask]] on behalf of [log in to unmask] [[log in to unmask]]
>Sent: Sunday, March 07, 2010 12:54 PM
>To: [log in to unmask]
>Subject: [SCREEN-L] comics & development of continuity editing
>I was reading some material about the development of continuity editing during the 1910s and it occurred to me that comics probably had some effect on this.  However I can't find any material about such connections though my search was admittedly fairly brief.  Does anybody know of such work?  Comics historians are generally focused on visual print (typically starting Hogarth>Topffer>Outcault>McCay>the explosion) with comics-film influences generally seen as pure borrowings of image technique such as framing, angles, light.  Some of the earliest comics, such as McCay's Dreams of a Rarebit Fiend (film adaptation in 1906), were fairly static visually and can be taken as roughly parallel to tableau editing.
>Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at ScreenSite

"Report back to me when....   I don't know.  When it makes sense."

Screen-L is sponsored by the Telecommunication & Film Dept., the
University of Alabama: