Reading McCloud’s “The Vocabulary of Comics” shows the reader in a visual way that pictures and symbols are not what we initially think they are. Drawings and paintings cannot have the actual object; instead you would analyze the picture, as this is a drawing of a picture of this object. Semiotics is the meaning of signs or something that makes meaning. However, a sign is the signifier (anything that signifies) and the signifier (a concept). Since signifiers can be words on a page, a facial expression, a picture, etc.
Which brings me to connotation and denotation. Initially McCloud began his article already explaining connotation and denotation without mentioning both of the actual terms. He goes into detail about faces and how our minds can perceive two different concepts when looking at an image of a cartoon face and seeing an image of a real human face. “But I believe there’s something more at work in our minds when we view a cartoon- especially of a human face- which warrants further investigation.” Going into investigation say I were to have a painting of a rose. If it were to represent the literal meaning of the rose it signifies that it is denotation. Connotations are signs that become the signifier for a second signified which would mean that a rose would signify passion.
McCloud’s approach to using a comic strip to explain signs and paintings made it a lot easier for me to fully grasp his points. Since I am a visual learner I could actually see what he was saying instead of just seeing words on a paper and me attempting to visualize what the author is “saying.”