There is an essential interaction between word and image in the work of a comic book artist. In our Design class, we have spent a lot of time on the subject of comic books and how they are designed. Scott McCloud, author of Understanding Comics, he introduces to the general public the basic definition of a comic.
Bob Fies is a different type of comic book artists. His first successful comic book song that was written was called Mom’s Cancer. This topic caught my attention though because it seemed like an unusual topic for a comic book. Fies’s mom was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, and Fies based the whole book off of the entire situation. In the lecture that he gave our class, he focused on the book and how he developed it, as well as how language and words work with an image.
Comics combine the concepts of words and images, and through this combination, the two concepts add up to more than they are worth on their own. Words convey half of the meaning, and the images convey the other half—but they must work together in order to convey the full meaning.
Specifically in Mom’s Cancer, Fies uses the combination of words and image to create a powerful juxtaposition. He could show multiple perceptions to a situation and play with the idea of space and time in ways that a normal book or piece of art could not. Fies really understands that connection between the two and uses it for his advantage to convey just the right message in his novels.