This was my first time reading McCloud's "Vocab of Comics" and to start I was quite pleased with his genre choice. Instead of reading just another pdf. text, it was a refreshing change up to read a comic strip. Just as McCloud claimed to be true, my brain saw a general version of myself in the cartoon explaining the different terms of comics (36). I could identify with the universal identification, childlike features, and simplicity (36) of the cartooned version of McCloud in the piece. And although I could identify with the "narrator" I still found no need to focus on the messenger as a real character (like what he ate for lunch, of his political views), instead I just concentrated on the messages he was attempting to present (37).
Naturally from the title of the piece, McCloud dives into some vocabulary terms of cartooning and such. His first definition is "icon"- meaning any image used to represent a person, place, thing, or idea (27). McCloud makes sure to mention that this is different from the term "symbol"; he believes that symbol is too loaded and that symbol is simply a category of icon to represent concepts, ideas, and philosophies (27). Some icons include: ying-yangs, American flags, Star of David, or a Jesus fish. Icons of language and communication include, letters, numbers, punctuation, and music notes (27). McCloud believes that these icons are abstracted representations and lack significant connections to the ideas they represent. Another kind of icons are pictures. pictures are images designed to identically resemble their subjects (27). Pictures meaning are fluid and variable according to their appearance (28). Non-pictorial icons are fixed and absolute, their appearance does not affect their meaning because they represent invisible ideas such as the peace sign, or the number 8 (28).