(Roughly) Daily

Now, students, open your Spiderman to page 4, and…

Long-time (pre-blog) readers may remember an earlier post on Scott McCloud‘s extraordinary Understanding Comics— a book that, while it is in fact the canonical work on its stated subject, is also an invaluable guide to visual communications in general.

Now a fellow-traveller, long-time letterer Nate Piekos, has created “Comics Grammar and Tradition.”  Like Understanding Comics, it’s very specifically (and usefully) about the craft and conventions of displaying verbal information in strip and page panels.  But at the same time, also like UC, it’s a provocative– and amusing– look at how speech plays in a visual world.

There is no Em or En dash in comics. It’s always a double dash and it’s only used when a character’s speech is interrupted. The double dash and the ellipsis are often mistakenly thought to be interchangeable. That’s not the case in comics, even though it’s rife in comic scripts. For the record, there are only TWO dashes in a double dash. It sounds like common sense, but you’d be surprised.

As we send to India for ink, we might recall that on this date on 1895, Wiliam G. Morgan, the athletic director at the Holyoke (MA) YMCA, modified the German game Faustball to invent volleyball (though it was originally called “mintonette”; Alfred Hasted came up with the new name a year later).  Unbeknownst to Morgan, on exactly that same day, the very first intercollegiate basketball game was being played several states away:  the Minnesota State School of Agriculture beat the Porkers of Hamline College, 9-3.

The first “real” volleyball game was played in 1896 at Springfield College.

William G. Morgan

Written by (Roughly) Daily

February 9, 2009 at 1:01 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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