Comic Book Theory and Praxis

Last night, M and I went to see a lecture by comics-theory guru Scott McCloud. He is doing a 50-state lecture tour with his entire family, including his wife and 2 animated daughters (energetic, that is… given that he’s a comics artist, I didn’t want to give the impression that his family is imaginary).

In the early 90s, he wrote a book called “Understanding Comics“, and followed it up in the Internet era with “Reinventing Comics“, which dealt with the potential that the Web offered for the comic form. Both of these books were definitive treatises on the history and nature of the comics form. Now, he has a book called “Making Comics” that puts it all in practice. His lecture summarized all 3 books in an hour and a half, and went very well. His older daughter did a short but amusing slideshow of their tour-to-date afterwards, and he closed the evening with a Q&A session and a book signing.

I’ve been a fan of his for a long time, and I was thrilled to see him speak live.  I guess I could have probably seen him speak at a comic book convention or something, but I’m just not that invested in fandom.  I read comics like I read any other literature, I don’t make a lifestyle out of it.  The folks in the audience were mostly design students and faculty, I think, and I had some very interesting conversations before and after the lecture.

The lecture was sponsored by NCSU in Raleigh and, a very hip on-demand print publisher.