Further Practice on McCloud Ch. 6

Let’s take a quick moment to review the types of panels and the focus they take as McCloud discusses in Ch. 6 of Understanding Comics that we just looked at.

Specifically, McCloud highlights SEVEN combinations (see above):
  1. Word Specific –basically relies on the words to tell the narrative while imagery acts as a kind of ornamentation.
  2. Picture Specific –is the inverse of Word Specific. Here the use of words acts as ornamentation to the imagery or pictures that are conveying the actual narrative.
  3. Duo Specific –acts as a situation where words and images are complimentary to one another in the fact that they basically convey “the same message.”
  4. Additive –is where the words serve as a means of amplifying or elaborating on the image that is communicating the narrative.
  5. Parallel –demonstrates a situation where the words and images appear to be conveying “parallel” but separate narratives. This can be more easily identified or isolated often times when one is only shown a page or panel or two of a comic or graphic novel without knowing the entire context. It can also represent some esoteric storytelling too.
  6. Montage –is where the words and images are part of the same framework. This is where the words in particular become part of the actual image.
  7. Inter-Dependent –is noted by McCloud to be the “most common” combination. This is where words and pictures/images convey different meanings separately but in combination convey a meaning that neither has without the other.



Let’s Look Closer at this page:





Images 1-3- Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow by Alan Moore and Curt Swan and George Perez

Images 4-5- Flex Mentallo: Man of Muscle Mystery by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely

Image 6- Justice League #1 by Geoff Johns and Jim Lee

Images 7-9- Kingdom Come by Mark Waid and Alex Ross

Images 10-11- All-Star Superman by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely

Image 12 – Batman: The Killing Joke by Alan Moore and Brian Bolland




BA in History from Northwestern State, MA in English from Northwestern State, and PhD in Rhetoric from Texas Woman's University. Big into comic books and visual rhetoric. Assistant Professor of English at Claflin University, Orangeburg, SC.

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