Ephemeral landscapes: of the page, fundaments . . .

Comic realism


McCloud (1993: 52–53) presents much a different version of this field of styles. Only the most knowledgeable of comic aficionados will recognize particular entries in his big pyramid, and most would probably shuffle some of the faces around. Of course, what he shows in the pyramid are faces or characterizations of people; a more complete graphic, probably impossible to display in this manner, would include different treatments of setting, framing, word-relations, colour and so on.

He tries to circumscribe his universe by only barely touching a very popular format, the photostory (photoroman, fotoromanza), and by treating Peanuts (or, perhaps Dilbert) as the penultimate graphically abstracted style, with the smiley-face at the pole. The comic universe is a little bit bigger than that, with both vivid photography and hybrid formats at one end and "universal humans" at the other (Hogben: facing 225).

"Photo-Revue" Photo-roman


Isotype comics, Otto Neurath, from Hogben, 1949Isotype: logical positivism in comic form

But when you add words to pictures of any reality, the effect may well go beyond realism . . .

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