09 February 2012

Ha, Scott McCloud proves everybody wrong again! H

In chapter 7 of “Understanding Comics- The Invisible Art,” Scott McCloud is informing us that comics and art are the same. He writes the definition of art, which is, “any human activity which doesn’t grow out of either of our species’ two basic instincts: survival and reproduction.” (pg. 164) His statement is about how art is in our everyday lives, even when there were cave people. The first example that Scott provides us with favors the two basic instincts. A caveman is in the “mood” to reproduce and is chasing a female. (This is the reproduction instinct) The female is running away and hides because she doesn’t want to reproduce. The caveman encounters a saber tooth tiger and runs for his life. (This is the survival instinct) The caveman is trapped at a cliff edge and the saber tooth tiger lunges at him. The caveman jumps out of the tiger’s way. The saber tooth tiger falls to his death and the caveman makes faces in the tiger’s direction. Today, the basic two instincts: survival and reproduction are still the same but they are just more complex.


The other examples are about how art played a role in the cave people’s lives. They could’ve drawn pictures in the dirt using a stick, which is also known as self-expression. They also might have made a rhythm by hitting two stones together. We do not take into account the idea art and the basic two instincts are still in our everyday lives today. It could be the way we sign our signature or our personal sense of style.


Mr. McCloud also informs us about the six steps that are essential to the comic artist. He uses an apple to make the reader understand that the six steps are in levels. The first step is the idea and metaphorically, the apple seeds. The first step becomes a, “tool and the powers of the art will rely on the powers of the ideas within,” as noted by Scott McCloud (pg. 179) The second level is form. On this step the artist decides the form that he/she wants to use. He/she could use the form of a song, a book or just about anything, there are no limits. The one question that refers to both the first two steps is asked to or by him/herself at one point to every artist is, “Why am I doing this?” Idiom is the third step; it is the vocabulary of styles or gestures or subject matter, the genre that the work belongs to. The fourth step is structure, this is the step that helps the artist decide how they are going to organize their information, and what they are going to leave in and/or take out. The fifth step is the construction of the work or in other words the story of the comic, this is called the craft. The sixth step is the production value and finishing or metaphorically known as the surface of the apple. An example that Mr. McCloud states to make the reader understand that the six steps will work together correctly no matter what order you discover them in, is a dinosaur’s skeleton bones. He uses this example because dinosaur bones are almost never found in the correct order but the bones fit perfectly when they are put together.


He provides information along with examples that are at the basic level. He gives more examples than what is expected. By doing this the beneficiaries are the reader and Scott McCloud. The readers benefit by learning more about comics. Mr. McCloud benefits by proving his credibility, he does this by providing many examples and showing different point of views.

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