Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Seeing Sound #2: Pacing

Cerebus #110 (May 1988)
Art by Dave Sim & Gerhard
(from 'Seeing Sound' in Cerebus The Barbarian Messiah, 2012)
...Later in Church & State, the amount of text given to the Judge takes time to read - it extends the duration of the panel by the absence of figures in the third panel, which instead pulls back and shows the moon. The small linked balloons in panel 1 allow for the possibility of interruption; the longer ones in panel 2 do not... In a much-sited passage, Eisner calls the speech balloon a "desperation device" which "attempts to capture and make visible an ethereal element: sound." Eisner's language senses a limitation to the medium, but Sim shows the speech balloon can be an opportunity for the artist to affect the pace with which the reader encounters the narrative: the speech balloon enables the representation of sound, and time.

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