Making Comics, Scott McCloud

Again with the piles of information!  I had to read this one chapter at a time and then take a long break to think about all the things contained in each chapter.  In Making Comics, Scott McCloud gets down to discussing the specifics about creating a comic book – everything from the placement and spacing in word bubbles, to the construction of panels in a way that’s intuitive to the reader, to the interaction of words and pictures.  There can never be too much discussion about the interaction of words and pictures.  Seriously.

This book made me sad I can’t draw.  Although there were bits about telling stories, I felt like the book was more geared towards artists, than writers.  It may have felt this way because, while I can write, I can’t one bit draw, so my perception could be skewed on account of how sad I felt during all the drawing bits.  Compared with how fun the words-and-pictures bits were!  All nicely broken down into categories and everything!

Scott McCloud’s books about comics are altogether wonderful.  He’s good at explaining complicated concepts in ways that are easily comprehensible, and referring back to them frequently enough to keep them in the reader’s head.  He uses examples from a broad range of comics, and his love for comics shines through in every panel.  Also he is funny and self-deprecating and clever.  Hooray for Scott McCloud!

  • Hooray indeed! I really want to read this and
    Reinventing Comics.

    • It was funny in Making Comics, there’s a panel where a fan is telling Scott McCloud, “I loved your first book! …Still working on that second one!” I have to say, Reinventing Comics was full of things to consider, but the other two were easier to read.

  • Now, my first thought is… are you ready? My thinking is that you just need to find a great artist collaborator! Think of the joys of synergy. Stop bemoaning any lack of drawing talent and capitalize on your own talents and strengths. Ok, I’ll stop now.
    I need to go check this guy out, now, don’t I? I promise (to make up for my little lecture rant here) that I will read a comic you loved in August. I’ll make it a personal challenge. 🙂
    (and yes, the priest guy was creepy.)

    • Hahaha, thanks for your words of wisdom. It’s not that I don’t appreciate my own talents; I’ve just always been sad that I’m so crap at drawing. That would be a lovely thing to be able to do – you see something and you draw it! Magic! If you’re going to read a comic I mentioned in August, my vote goes towards Ordinary Victories. If you’re only going to read one. Craig Thompson’s Blankets is also pretty wonderful. (But sad.)

  • So I just finished reading “Understanding Comics” and it was deliciously good in places and then some parts sounded a lot like the manifestos my stoner friends in art school would go on about – the whole business of the apple metaphore, for instance, made no sense to me. Which left me not knowing if I’m too dumb to follow or if he was wandering into Pretentiousville and the reader is not intened to understand.

    What do you think, are the later books worth trying even if you only understood 50% of the first one?

    • Hm, I don’t remember the apple metaphor. I think that some of the stuff he says about Art, I sort of zoned out for, because really, Art is mainly a closed book to me. I found it pretty friendly and accessible, but maybe I just zoned out all the pretentiousness bits.