Eisner Quiz

Eisner shares many ways of telling a story. How to tell it, how to come up with it, and how to keep the reader engaged. Many movies piggy-back off of comics but there are a few differences. Comics have to hold the attention of the reader a lot more because in comics, the reader is able to skip to the end. The comic captivates the readers attention by composing an interesting story. There is a “contract” between reader and storyteller, Eisner says, that the storyteller is to make the story comprehensible so that the reader will easily follow and maintain an interest in the story and never let go. Images, the size of the letters, symbols, format, easily recognizable characters (often acted out stereotypes), and the reaction from the characters all help achieve this goal. The “package” that the story is delivered in has to be recognizable, comprehensible, and entertaining or they will lose interest and skip to the end.

The “Let me tell you what happened to….” narrative is one way to get a story idea, according to Eisner. On page 86, he states, “An audience is always interested in the experiences of someone with whom it can relate. There is something very private that occurs within the reader whole he ‘shares’ the actor’s experience.” He describes how with these types of stories in a graphic medium, the writer must establish credibility by introducing a main character in a short, but descriptive prologue (page 86). On pages 87-94, Eisner depicts a comic that explores this type of narrative. The story starts off with a very short introduction about a guy who has always felt safer being invisible and  when he perfected that art, he saw his name in the obituary. Much of the comic is him trying to prove he isn’t dead; no one notices that much because no one really remembers him. The illustrations, bold letters, different captioning, and the overall plot of the story keep the reader interested in not just the ending but the journey Pincus, the main character, takes to get there.

Brooke Reaves


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