Closure in comics
Closure in comics is the "phenomenon of observing the parts but perceiving the whole" (McCloud 63). In other words, closure is the act of mentally filling in the gaps of what we observe, which is why closure is extremely important to comics. The reader observes two separate panels and mentally pieces together what happened in between them, even though there is no panel containing what happened in between. Closure in comics is why comics falls under the category of cool media: Comics requires the reader to be constantly interacting with visual aspects and filling in the gaps between them, whereas in film (a hot medium), two actions are connected visually by the medium itself, rather than mentally by the user.
In the book Understanding of Comics, Scott McCloud has specified the different types of closure depending on the various ways of page distribution as follows:
Like movies or TV the same character is displayed from panel to panel developing one same action. Here little closure is needed since the action is continuous and not much is happening in between panels.
The same character appears throughout the panels but this time, two different actions are carried out. This requires more closure since usually there are gaps while illustrating two actions.
This is like the counter shot in film. Two characters are part of the same scene. They could be talking to each other or just sharing a space or a situation. This requires a certain level of closure, since this illustration can go over a long period of time that omits actions.
This connection among panels indicates leaps in time and space. Though, it is often required that the panels are part of the same narrative. This requires a great deal of closure because of the same jump of space and time.
Eg. Panel 1 Batman “ Oh Robin is being kidnapped” Panel 2 Robin with Poison Ivy Panel 3: Batman saves Robin What happen in between? Closure
5. Aspect to aspect
"Bypasses time for the most part and sets a wandering eye on different aspects of a place, mood, or idea." High level of closure.
Panels with no logical relationship. This requires the most active participation of the reader since it asks for a high level of closure.