In the comic “Waiting” by Maurice Vellekoop, there are four panels, with each one being set in a different season. What is fascinating about this piece is that each panel is set in the same location and perspective overlooking a city street, with the only changes being the weather and vehicle placement. The weather changes in each panel, from winter to spring, to summer, and then to fall, giving the reader a perception of passing time. Other than the images presented, it is up to the interpreter to determine how much time the piece is meant to depict. There are a variety of techniques that comics use to provide a concept of time that is suitable to individual works.
“502 West Main Street” by Onsmith, contains twenty-four panels in total that are grouped into sets of fours, each depicting an event within an unnamed boys life. Each group of panels portrays a different moment of time, which is indicated by the titles the author provides above each set. The first set of panels takes place in “spring 1987,” beginning with a third-person description of a boy who discovers a waterlogged pornographic magazine. In the next three panels, the boy tears out a page to put in his wallet and prepares and excuse in case his mother discovers it.
The first panel contains a black and white image of a fence with pieces of wood placed next to it, showing the location of where the magazine was found. The next image features an areal view of a neighborhood, which seems to have no relevance to the plot whatsoever. In the following panel, a pickup truck is shown driving away, and the set ends with an overhead view of a house. While the plot seems to take place within a few seconds, the images create the perception that the events take place over a longer period of time.
The story appears to be taking place moment by moment, with recollections that seem random and incoherent, as if each moment being remembered, demonstrated by the images that are connected to the words. Every comic gives some sort of indication of time correlating with the plot, whether through images, text, or a mixture of both, providing readers with the information needed to understand the time frame. The context of a comic determines how the author chooses to reveal time, but despite these differences, every comic indicates its time frame in some way.
Vellekoop, Maurice. “Waiting.” Ivan Brunetti. Ed. Yale University Press, 2008. Print
Onsmith. “502 West Main Street.” Ivan Brunetti. Ed. Yale University Press, 2008. Print