The Presence of Comics in American Culture

The comics have been present in the American culture for a long time. Scholars are paying significant attention to the comics as an art, a unique print medium, and a cultural artifact. Many people are familiar with the essential reading of the comics, but critical vocabulary for debating and interpreting them is not known to many people. For instance, the visual analysis entails the processes of learning and responding to graphical images. The method involved thoughts that were considered in creating or influencing an image.

Scott McCloud in his work “Understanding Comics” defined the comics as contrasted pictorials arranged in a well-thought order. Therefore, an audience reads one picture after another to derive meaning from the comics. In particular, Call of Duty: Zombies #1 by Jason Blundell and Craig Houston is an example of the modern comics because of the basic building blocks, such as using the closure elements, including the framing and gutters, considering of lines and shapes, and covering the aspects of time, space, and movement, since the authors want to make the story of the conflict between reanimates and humans more realistic.

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Firstly, through the concept of closure, the audience can effectively figure out fear that zombies created in humans. Closure refers to an act of perceiving an entire image after observing some of its parts (McCloud 62). People tend to complete an event after viewing some of its parts, based on their past experience. In turn, Misty is seen pointing a gun towards the audience and shouting, “Yeah well” (Blundell and Houston 3).

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She reanimates who people are, pointing the gun towards that are not visible in this painting. However, the audience is certain that Misty targets to shoot the resurrecting humans. Such a determination depends on the previous painting where she is astonished by the zombies, rising from the utility hole. Another example is a situation where Russman shouts, “Dinner for someone…” (Blundell and Houston 9). The part of a hand is seen reaching after him, but it is not possible to see who is chasing after Russman. However, the audience can figure out that a reanimate is trying to catch him. Such metaphorical levels depend on the paintings when the person is reading the comics. In this way, the effective use of closure relies on the flaming and gutters.

Then, flames and gutters help the audience to relate different ideas and events in the comics. Gutters enhance how the readers understand a story presented in the comics (Tornes 8). In Call of Duty: Zombies #1, it is a scene that is enclosed in a panel and gutters separate them. The audience finds it easy to relate the story to different boards. Gutters separate the board showing a building and one having misty entering a door (Blundell and Houston 2). In that case, the readers can visualize the structure into which Misty enters. The panel below them shows Misty talking to Marlton, who is seated in a chair. The gutters have made it possible to understand the context of the events occurring in the three panels. Thus, frames and channels make the page organization neat and easy to comprehend through a clear relation of different ideas.

Moreover, lines and shapes are useful tools for the generalizing about characters in the story. The human mind is capable of interpreting lines and similar shapes like circles and relate them into a real object (McCloud 31). In turn, the readers can easily relate the shape into a real object since a person is also drawn using it to climb a wall. Two long lines with other small ones crossing them represent a ladder (Blundell and Houston 16). A similar trend exists for lines representing a rope and electric wires. Stuhlinger and Russman use a string to drop from the rooftop into the room (Blundell and Houston 17). The context and the way that the two men use the line help to determine that it is a rope and not an electric wire. Mist and her colleagues use high voltage to keep off the reanimates from getting into the house (Blundell and Houston 18). The two curved lines used in the panel containing electrified zombies and transformers represent electric cables. Indeed, they cannot depict ropes as in other instances. Therefore, the readers can understand the specific meaning of different lines, depending on the context in which they apply.

Moving persons, hitting the reanimates and flying guns in the story portray time, space, and motion. In the comics, the primary way of simulating time and movement include tossing of objects and crushed matters among others (McCloud 69). The readers look for some familiar cues that may suggest a moving body part or item. Lines drawn in instances where two people engage in a fight represent motion (Blundell and Houston 11). The splashing blood and golden sparks sketched throughout the book represent moving fluid and bullet respectively. A gun flying also describes movement in the air (Blundell and Houston 14). In other words, it shows the space in which the dislocation occurs. The term “space” in the current scenario refers to the place in which the event happens. In this case, flames and gutters are also useful in showing motion and interval between consecutive events. As a result, the aspects of the time, space, and movement enhance the concept of reality in the comics.

In conclusion, the comics carry a deeper meaning than the crude drawing used to depict various events. The work “Understanding Comics” by McCloud defined the comics are related images arranged in a thoughtful sequence that portray a message. There are essential elements that make the authors of the comics achieve their primary objective of presenting unique stories. In this way, the analysis of the comics “Call of Duty: Zombies #1” by Blundell and Houston shows the significance of some tools to attain the desired meaning of a story. Some of the essential elements used include the closure, framing and gutters, lines and shapes, and depiction of time, space, and movement. Firstly, closure elements enable the artist to use few details in an image, which can help the audience to figure out the intended meaning. Then, through framing and gutters, the readers rely on their wits to relate different ideas and make a continuous story. Moreover, lines and shape are crucial in understanding different contexts in a single account. For instance, a similar shape can have various meanings, depending on the frame of the application. Therefore, the combination of these elements makes the story of the reanimates and humans more convincing.

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The Presence of Comics in American Culture. (2022, Jan 07). Retrieved from

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