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<   No. 1398   2006-11-24   >

Comic #1398

1 {Me reading Making Comics by Scott McCloud.}
2 Me: This basically distils down to two things: Talent. And hard work.
3 {thinking}
4 Me: Fat lot he knows!

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Scott McCloud's new book, Making Comics, is all about, well, making comics.

And before anyone says anything, I haven't actually had time to read it yet - I just got it from a few days ago. So I honestly don't know if its advice does distil* down to this or not.

* And before anyone says anything about that, remember that I don't use American spellings.

Four and a half weeks later...

Okay, I've read Making Comics now. There's a lot of good stuff in it. And yes, with a little bit of licence you can say that it boils down to requiring hard work and talent. :-)

But there's much more in it than that, and I heartily recommend it. And for anyone who's wondering about the four-way classification of comic artist tribes that McCloud introduces on pages 230-237, and where I see myself in it, I'd classify myself as one of those bizarre diagonal combos that he says are rare and unusual: a Formalist-Animist. For those who haven't read the book, this means that the two highest priorities in my comic making are exploring the comic form itself and stretching its boundaries to see what can be achieved, and telling a (somewhat) decent story. The other two options are the Classicist, concerned with making a skilled work of art, and the Iconoclast, who wants to use comics as a way of expressing deep truths and real life concerns, both of which I have to admit do not feature particularly heavily in what I'm trying to achieve here (although if I can, hey, I'll run with them).

I'm not a big fan of pigeonholing people or things into categories, but it can offer a useful way of thinking about things sometimes. And the very fact that McCloud says a Formalist-Animist is almost a contradiction and very rare in the comics world just makes me glow with pride. :-)

2016-06-27 Rerun commentary: Scott McCloud's next major work is The Sculptor, a large graphic novel. I bought a copy and... it's a very impressive work.

It is, however, an emotional roller-coaster of a story, which is not a type of fiction I really enjoy. I'm glad I read it once, but I don't think I can ever bring myself to read it again.

On the other hand, if you don't mind that sort of thing, then I highly recommend it.

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