As I continued to read Understanding Comics, I could not get the image of McCloud “praying” and asking why are we so involved? In his clip of various cartoon charters with human faces (pg30). The image is so astounding because it conjures the idea of religion, and praying to a comic? No, we created the comic…so are we praying to ourselves? Why do we see faces in any simple dots and lines? It seemed to be a desire, a desperation McCloud is pointing out. Why does the “other” hold so much importance. Soad I think you really captured the idea of children’s fascination with cartoons. Cartoons are simple; they are entertaining, and reach children on a level of comedy. The simple nature of a cartoon, the simple shapes, draws the child in because they can understand indentify with the simplicity. As we get older, we view cartoons differently, we search for a deeper meaning, the plot, the protagonist…we ask why? What is the purpose? Then we have to view the “other” to find it.
McCloud’s clip of praying to the comic reminded me of an element of Marxist Critique. Marx explained the ideology of the human being is its desperate need for community, but also to create itself in nature and even beyond nature. Marx came up with the theory of the creation of God by man. He believed God was a creation of man in order for man to validate his existence. We believe that man is a creation of God in his image, or is this the other way around? Did man create God in his own image? Marx continues to identify that man had to believe that there were answers, and they were not simply found on earth. The unexplained had to be explained and manifested in some form, what better form than the ultimate “Human” the immortal MAN, GOD. Marx points out that man needs to answer to something; he needs submission in order for answers and explanations to validate his existence in a world which does not provide a book of answers. So man creates his own “teacher” and his own book of answers in the only form that will allow him to feel he matters. Man reflects himself beyond himself. He is able to project humanity beyond this world, and still retain a hold on his existence.
Magic and myth also correlate with this theory. It provides reason and explanation because after all we are reasonable beings, we must find the answers that when we ask WHY, we are not left we empty space? The closer we can relate to the explained the more we feel we can validate our existence.
McCloud illustrates that words and pictures have driven toward opposite sides of the spectrum, but meet in the middle at a more basic level. Could we have been our creation of this separation of the picture and word? We did invent both. And if so, then we are actually creating a reason for our own existence by finding a meaning out of a meaning we invented and created. The answer is a reflection of the self.