Analysis Of ' Show & Tell '

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The Power of Comics in Storytelling Scott McCloud’s graphic essay “Show & Tell” demonstrates how the relationship between pictures and words can be used to convey a message efficiently. By showing many visual examples of the different ways images and words can be used together, McCloud establishes that information is easier to interpret when paired with visual aid. By also pointing out that people are naturally inclined to show something visually as means of explaining, McCloud demonstrates his main point: the combination of words and images is very effective in conveying a message. With his opening sequence McCloud illustrates that because the acting of showing is instinctual, incorporating visuals with literature would be logical. The series of panels in which the boy is struggling to explain verbally, not visually, what the toy is capable of captures McCloud’s audience instantly because it is an experience that many have had. It is not unusual for a child to use visual markers like “this” and “that” when explaining objects, events, etc. McCloud then goes on to explain that it is expected for children to graduate from books with mostly pictures to novels with no pictures at all as they mature with time. This is attributed to the cultural perception of comic books. According to Stephen Weiner in his book Faster Than a Speeding Bullet: The Rise of the Graphic Novel, “newspaper comic strips were always recognized as something read by everyone, but from the beginning of the
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