A few weeks ago in class, we discussed Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics and how it could give us some definitions and basic rules to follow when reading comics and looking for interpretive language to help in our quest to figure out what comics are. What we concluded is that single panel comics such as Family Circus, are not considered comics but comic art. As comic art, this means that the design and style of the single panel is in the same ideal as comics, but lacks what McCloud calls lack of sequence. BUT here’s where I hop off the McCloud train and start up the Dallas Wagon of Single Panels. In my point of view these comics DO have sequence (bear with me I’m getting very nitty gritty). Within single panel comics there is drawing, maybe some words, and the connection with the audience. If sequence is used by Webster’s dictionary which is “the following of one thing after another”, than single panel comics do have sequence! You can visually see the comic first then the words and then connect the words in your head to get the punchline or the joke, or maybe read the words first then observe the comic drawn and wahla!! Sequence!!
Let’s take this xkcd comic called GIT as an example. When you notice the comic you could see the stick figures first see how one is pointing at the computer then the other two standing looking at the other. Next you read the text and finally connect how the picture and words align and start to laugh if you understand it! Scott McCloud said because single panels lack of sequence they can’t be considered comics but as we have seen there is sequence and more of what I would like to call Internal Sequence. Scott’s view on sequence is what I would classify as External Sequence, which can contain multiple panels and arching stories and plot lines. But single panels can only use Interior while multi panel comics use both to show this more expanded sequence.