My Thoughts from Scott McCloud Lecture

February 13th, 2009 by MarkMonlux

I originally learned about Scott McCloud through my membership with Cartoonists Northwest a number of years ago. Another member told me that his book “Understanding Comics” was not only the best book about the fundamentals of comic book art, but so surpassed the others that it was embarrassing. With such a recommendation I had to get the book. And they were right. Not only does he cover concepts in depth, but he presents the all of this valuable knowledge in comic book form to reemphasis his lessons, and the point that comics as truly a unique medium of communication. It has almost become standardized reading for anyone who is at all serious about drawing comics.

Mr. McCloud has since written a few other books. They contain a lot of good principals as well, but they also start to present a lot of theory. And as with all theories presented in a climate rampant with dedicated fans they were met with some skepticism. But comic books don’t just have dedicated fans; comic books have rabid at the mouth fanboys that need to be institutionalized if they go off their meds. And those sweet dears can stir up a crowd with their belligerence when they find something they don’t agree with. To say that Mr. McCloud has received some heat over the years for his various theories (some of which time has shown to be a tiny bit off) would be putting it lightly.

When Stan Shaw sent out an email informing all that Scott McCloud would be giving a lecture in Tacoma I was thrilled. I’d get a chance to listen to a man that has influenced how I draw and inspired me to draw more. I’d heard rumors that he was one terrific presenter. The rumors were true. He had a chance to discuss a few of his theories (which he is still sticking to) and was modest enough to admit that he didn’t know everything when some of these thoughts didn’t pan out. It was by far one of the best presentations I’ve heard in a while. And please understand that I’m a luncheon speaker junkie. It not bragging on my part, merely the truth, that I’ve listened to hundreds of speakers over the years. And this lecture was memorable.

I wont rehash what Mr. McCloud spoke about. I wouldn’t be able to do it justice. But, if you would like a taste you can see him speak online as part of the TED series in the above video clip. That will give you an idea on just what you missed out on that evening. Hey, I even got him to sign a couple of books and thank him for his work.


  1. izenmania said,

    February 13, 2009 @ 8:27 am

    Ah crapple… why did I not know this was happening? I would have been there in a snap.

    I checked Understanding Comics out of the library ages ago, when I still dreamed of working in comics. The only book that even comes close to it, that I’ve read at least, is Eisner’s Comics & Sequential Art, which is ultimately much more limited in scope.

  2. MarkMonlux said,

    February 13, 2009 @ 8:39 am

    It just goes to show that you need to subscribe to this blog and read it each and every day!

  3. izenmania said,

    February 13, 2009 @ 8:42 am

    Clearly that is true. Or at the very least I need to join RR in harassing Kevin until it gets up on f>>t.

  4. RR Anderson said,

    February 13, 2009 @ 9:18 am

    Nice post. I am sad I missed it. I am one of those people who discovered Scott McCloud in the main downtown tacoma library.