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How To Read A Comic By Alex BuckinghamandEric Kortschak
Where do I start? • Reading a comic book is just like reading a novel. You start at the top left, read across and then downward. • However, there will be instances where the panels and text won’t be arranged left to right, top to bottom, but the page will be arranged in a way the reader will easily understand.
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Bubbles & Blocks • When characters speak, bubbles are usually reserved to demonstrate this. • If there is a narrator, that text is usually contained within a box. In most cases, the box will be tinted a certain colour to remind the reader of which character is speaking. • eg. Spiderman narration blocks are usually red.
Arrangement • As it was mentioned before, the teams that create these books work together to arrange the text and images in a way that is straight-forward to the reader. • There is a certain “movement” in regards to the relation of images and text.
Two Page Spreads • Sometimes, writers will create a scene where they use two facing pages together, and the dialogue flows across both • In this case, the speech of the characters usually moves across both pages
Reading Manga • Japanese comic books, or “manga”, work a little differently • You still read from the top of the page to the bottom, but the speech bubbles and page order are right-to-left instead of left-to-right
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Images and Words • The biggest difference between a novel and a comic book is, of course, the pictures • These are made to complement – enhance – the speech of the characters, so it is just as important to look at the images as it is to read the words • By looking at the face of a character or the scenery of the panel, the words can take on whole new meanings
That’s all, folks! • That is all you need to know in order to enjoy the wonders of sequential art literature. • Sit back, relax, and enjoy!