28 January 2009

Link of the day: Scott McCloud on understanding comics

While watching a different TED talk, I came across a talk by Scott McCloud called "Understanding Comics." McCloud is an advocate of comics as a legitimate art form. The first part of the talk connects his experiences growing up with a blind father and the idea of creative vision.

According to McCloud, the principles of creative vision are
  • Learn from everyone
  • Follow no one
  • Watch for patterns
  • Work like hell
In the world of art, he divides creative approach roughly into
  • Formalist (thinking, form)
  • Classicist (sensation, beauty)
  • Animist (intuition, content)
  • Iconoclast (feeling, truth)
The second half focuses on comics in the past and future. McCloud doesn't bother talking about comics in the present, assuming that the audience is already familiar with it. The presentation makes the first and second halves feel disconnected; maybe he was cramming too much into the short time frame. The brevity of the talk (17 minutes) made it difficult for him to delve deeply into his topic. I need to go read McCloud's book, also called Understanding Comics.

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