October 8, 2012
In McCloud's the Vocabulary of Comics it brought me back to other readings of his as well as some concepts covered in another class I'm currently taking, Visual Rhetoric. By McCloud saying the word icon is representative of any given noun that allows the reader to impart meaning on whatever he leads them to see as the icon. His example of the letter M and the peace sign is a clear indication the people present that icon with meaning. The letter M means virtually nothing to me; it doesn't affect my school, family, friends or anything. However, as soon as seeing M as an icon, I impart meaning with words like Mom, Modern, Music, etc. Words that I frequently use, ideas that I frequently think that involve that icon become my thoughts. Same thing with the peace sign, I immediate impart the idea of peace, a more high-brow concept than a circle with lines in it would have any reason to portray. In my visual rhetoric class we talk about the difference between signs, symbols, and pictures. I believe, in this case, McCloud would most closely relate icon to the term symbol. A symbol as defined in my other class, is one that has meaning but it the meaning has little to do with what it actually, aesthetically looks like. I think McCloud would agree with that concept and I think that is the idea he is getting across.