Multimodal Affordances of Web Comics

Multimodal Affordances of Web Comics

At an initial glace, Scott Mclouds web page looks at the very basic end of the web design spectrum. However, what he has actually done is extremely clever. He has incorporated the typical comic style e.g. panels, cartoons, gutters, and created an easy to navigate website. The use of the personal pronouns ‘you’ and predominantly ‘I’ overcomes any sort of distance between the reader and the creator, therefore initiates an interpersonal relationship. The use of simplistic drawings and primary colours intensifies the whole page and simply makes it pleasant to look at, and encourages the reader to explore the different links. Scott Mcloud himself suggests that “[…] The more cartoony a face is, for instance, the more people it could be said to describe […] when you look at a photo or realistic drawing of a face – you see it as the face of another but when you enter the world of the cartoon – you see yourself” (1993: 31-36). To expand on this, he has purposely chose to create a cartoony style of website in order to make it more relatable to the reader.

He has used a hierarchical taxonomy in order to organize the importance of his data in a specific linear layout. With this ‘F shape’ layout, you are immediately drawn to his introductory post and then prompted to explore the three posts to the right of it, this creates an easy, linear layout to follow on each page. As shown below –

One of the constraints to the webpage would be that it opens in Internet Explorer rather than Google Chrome, but this may just be me being picky. Internet Explorer is very outdated for my generation and is much slower than the preferred browser. However this medium is still accessible to anyone with internet so I can’t complain too much. The use of this browser is most likely due to when the webpage was first published (2009). In contrast to this, I do like his ‘retro’ layout as opposed to websites such as Twitter and Tumblr which are constantly modernized and updated so this is a refreshing take on a webpage.

Overall, in terms of my own personal tastes, I really like this webpage. He makes great use of adapting the typical comic strip to fit into a webpage whilst still keeping the retro feel to it. He also creates an interpersonal relationship with the readers using personal pronouns to give a sense of inclusiveness. However, aside from the home page, the other pages were fairly hard to navigate with a lot of different pieces of writing – he may have benefited more from using a few more sub-categories. But I do like the use of gutters to separate some of his posts as you would typically find these in comics.

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