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The Lookout | March 24, 2019

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Comic book ‘guru’ shares his insights

Comic book ‘guru’ shares his insights

Vincent Mata

There is one man that is critically acclaimed a “Comic Guru.” His name is Scott McCloud, and he is the father of comic analysis.

Best known as a comic and graphic novel theorist, McCloud has written three books considered to be essential reading when it comes to comics — Understanding ComicsMaking Comics and Reinventing Comics.

The acclaimed comic author and illustrator Scott McCloud stopped by Schuler Books & Music in the Eastwood Towne Center on Feb. 16 to discuss his first graphic novel, The Sculptor.

The visit was part of his U.S. book tour; consisting of 14 cities in 16 days.

At Schuler’s ‘Talk and Signing’ event, McCloud shared stories along with a presentation about making his first graphic novel.

The stories ranged from his use of full bleed pages, to ways his techniques and fundamentals from previous books were relevantly used in this graphic novel, to the pantone color he used.

He also spoke about how he filmed models for reference. This footage allowed him to scrub frame-by-frame so he could see “when a hug became a hug,” and so on.

In McCloud’s ‘Talk,’ he mentioned the all-ages movement and how more kid-friendly comics are bringing an increase of comic-hungry readers.

He said what is beautiful about this new army of readers is that most of them are women. Scott predicted that within nine years there will be a female majority industry in comics.  

Referencing the all-age movement, McCloud discussed the growth of longer comics, (we’re talking hundreds of pages.)

The longer stories, he explained allows the artists (and writers) more room to show emotion and build a larger world for readers.

A Q & A session allowed the audience to ask about methods, comic theory, advice for young artists, and incorporating personal life experiences for stories.

The Sculptor “was influenced by McCloud’s life, he said.

“Not as a diary entry,” McCloud said. “(it was) not my attempt to somehow glorify or seriously go into detail of my own personal life. It’s just that I had fuel.  I had firewood sitting right here, you know, time to throw it in the fireplace.”

McCloud said the story and structure of The Sculptor had always interested him. It’s about love, a deal with death and sacrifices made in the pursuit of great art.

He spent five years working on The Sculptor.

“I worked seven days a week, 11 hours a day,” he said. “It was magnificent. I loved doing it, and I knew that when I was done my family would see me constantly so it was OK. Making comics for a living is a joyful, magnificent thing to do.”

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