Cartoons… Magical powers? J
When I read the first couple of pages of McCloud’s “Vocabulary of Comic” it initially brought me back to many examples that we discussed in class. I was immediately drawn back to the definition that we had in discussion in class from Kenneth Burke on the word Symbolic Action. The first page of the passage that I read, McCloud presented us with so many symbolic figures and went on to convince us or sway us that those things that we are seeing on the papers that we are reading are not them. That the cow was not a cow. The leaf was not a leaf. More or less it is ink on a paper depicting the image. Which leads to the word Symbolic action. Symbolic action as we discussed in class according to Burke is “any poetic or verbal act that became representative of a social trend…the difference between practical and symbolic act. They were enactment and that through form, content, gesture of an attitude; they eventually became individuation of a common paradigm.
I enjoyed the part where McCloud breaks down the cartoon. He asks what’s so fascinating about stripping down a face to a simple cartoon-like image. What I gathered about this section was by drawing a cartoon face instead of giving it its realistic human face; you can spread the wealth and reliability of the cartoon. It’s identity can be spread rather then permanent to one person’s identity. The blank face could be added upon. He explains how self-centered we are how we see ourselves in everything. Cartoons with just a plain face allows us to put our imagination to use rather then seeing and living whatever is being depicted through an actual person. This reminds me of a topic I had in a communications class when we discussed why does soldiers name their guns female names. This name that is giving to this gun gives it more meaning than it could possible have without it. Me naming my Gun “Michelle” makes her special to me. Soldiers are now sleeping with the guns that they name all in making that special connection. I also learned that naming the gun takes the blame off of the soldiers conscious a little. “Michelle” was the one who really killed and is the one to blame. That example I feel is a way and why some people use cartoons in a magical and relatable way. No matter what your age you can still use your imagination and identity in a cartoon.