Vignette – definition, graphic representation

The vignette is, in the comic, the minimum unit with narrative meaning. Usually it is a box delimited by black lines that represent a moment in history. Each vignette corresponds to a painting, as we saw in a previous class, and has the characteristic that it not only occupies a space, but also a time.

The vignette, therefore, is the image that represents a moment or moment in a story. Generally it is considered like the pictographic representation of the minimum time or significant space. Therefore, it is the minimum assembly unit of the cartoon or comic.

Vignettes can present verbal language and iconic language simultaneously, as some display only pictures and others also include text. The reading order corresponds to the writing system: in Western countries, therefore, the vignettes are read from left to right, in the same sense in which the pages are turned. This format changes in countries that write and read from right to left, such as Japan.

The vignettes are delimited by black lines and separated by a space known as a street or gutter. The reader must interpret the dead times between the different vignettes and give them meaning.

In most newspapers there is at least one section devoted to graphic humor. The creator presents a small story related to the present in a vignette. As for its content, it doesn’t have to be humorous, but there is generally an element of irony and social criticism. It is a format aimed at the adult audience and with the intention of offering an atypical point of view of reality.

The cartoons of the graphic humor of the newspapers can have other exhibitions. Therefore, some of them are aimed at children, others have a spicy content or are related to sports. Regardless of their subject, journalistic cartoons can be presented in a single illustration or in several, and in the latter case they are called comic strips.

Today, digital cartoons (which can be read on the Internet or on a device such as a computer or tablet) bring the concept of a vignette into play, since the transfer between scene and scene can be done in different ways: with animations, requiring the reader to click, or touch a certain point on the screen, and so on.