It’s becoming harder to find a place to jump in and start reading the comics that inspire Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. A new movie arrives almost every three months.
However, there is one solution:
Listen to comic book experts for their advice on what’s worth reading.
The Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) in Brisbane hosted a panel discussion on comics in the real world last Sunday, May 28. The panel is part of the Marvel exhibition in Brisbane. The guests shared their expertise on comics and the Marvel Universe – in print, and on screen.
The GOMA website summarised the career of each guest:
- Professor Jason Bainbridge, Head of the School of Communication, University of South Australia
- Ryan Griffen, Creator of sci-fi television series Cleverman
- Dr Naja Later, Sessional Lecturer in Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne. And Sessional Academic, Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne
- Dr Paul Mason, Lecturer in Art Direction, Griffith Film School, and comic book illustrator on Kid Phantom (Frew Publications)
I was excited to see Ryan Griffen, the creator behind the new Cleverman series, share his thoughts and expertise. The season one story arc and plot were excellent.
Dr. Paul Mason is the skilled artist behind the new Kid Phantom comic from Frew Publications based in Sydney, Australia. It is always worth listening to Paul’s insights.
And for the first time, I thought it was exciting and interesting to listen to Dr. Naja Later, Prof. Jason Bainbridge, and the panel MC Scott Stephens.
Goma Panel Guests shared which comics are excellent “jumping in” points for new readers. Here’s their recommendations:
Ryan Griffen – Black Panther And The Crew (2017)
Paul Mason – Fantastic Four 1960’s collected editions or omnibuses
Naja Later – Bucky Barnes as Captain America (2004 – 2010)
Jason Bainbridge – The original Secret Wars (1984)
Four excellent recommendations for any Marvel fans who are enjoying the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
You can find more comics content on the Wallflyer and you can follow me, Joe, on twitter @thewallflyer.
I saw a great video on film editing language late last week. I noticed a link between the content, and what goes into making comics. This post is a walk through what I learned. The link between film and comics is obvious, since comic creators have drawn parallels between film and comic making since the early 1990’s. I noticed one specific connection.
Dan Olson produces high quality videos for his channel Folding Ideas.
Scott McCloud is an expert of what makes comics work. His most well known book is Understanding Comics. What makes McCloud’s work so well know is his ability to accurately critique and describe the complexities of comic book panels and word combinations using comics. Some might say it is very meta. Olson similarly uses film to occasionally educate about film, while providing critique and commentary on key films. Since comics and film create stories with mechanical and structural aspects in common, I immediately thought of Scott McCloud’s books when watching Olson’s latest video on editing.
Olson mentions Aspect-to-Aspect (cross cutting) scene transitions. He then mentions the anime film Akira as an example. This was exciting because McCloud talks about examples of aspect-to-aspect panel transitions in comics using the Akira manga. I was happily surprised at the convergence of ideas here.
In a comics scene, imagination from the reader fills in the gaps between these single panels and images. We make the story as we read it. This is called “Closure”. It is one aspect of how comics spark imagination. Film similarly invites imagination.
Using aspect to aspect editing, filmmakers tie together multiple scenes, transitioning to different characters and places. Cross cuts invite the viewer to imaging that the events are happening at the same time. They fill in the gaps with imagination.
Closure seems to have a small place in film making, as well as aspect-to-aspect transitions in comics. In Comics, focusing on Aspect-to-Aspect transitions builds atmosphere in a scene. They create a sense of size and place. McCloud describes how comics from Japan – Akira for example – use Aspect-to-Aspect panel transitions to build atmosphere, a sense of place. To use the editing language, they cross cut to events happening at the same time, warranting a sense of simultaneous action.