10 June 2009

I Didn't Mean to Cunfuzzle One's Ears

Chapter seven of Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art talks about comics as an art. Scott McCloud writes how anything that people do that is not meant for them to survive or reproduce is art. He gives an amazingly funny example when he mentions a neanderthal who is chasing a woman to mate. The neanderthal eventually loses the female, but suddenly a large cat animal attacks him and starts chasing him. He is running for survival. He ends up being lead to a cliff and there is a tree on it. He quickly jumps up and grabs a branch to avoid the oncoming predator. Luckily for the neanderthal, the tiger cannot stop in time to stop from falling off the cliff. The man is safe. Next, instead of going to find food to survive, or find another woman to reproduce; he sticks his tongue out at the fallen tiger. The neanderthal’s reaction to defeating the animal is what McCloud defined art. In order to create art, McCloud claims that for any medium, there is a path that needs to be taken. The path contains six steps: idea/ purpose, form, idiom, structure, craft, and surface. He also mentions that most forms of art that appeal to people are hollow beause nesecary steps in the path to creating art are skipped.

Altogether I thought chappter seven was confusing. He contradicts himself when he says that anything a human does that is not meant for them to survive or reproduce is art, but he calls the most common pieces of art hollow. When art is described as hollow, it seems pretty degrading for the artist. That is like saying that someone didn’t try on their work. Something else that was confusing was when McCloud writes how anyone who creates any medium of art goes through the six step process. The process is supposedly going to make any work of art excellent. If everyone goes through this process and the process seems to ensure great work, why would he call other works hollow?

Chapter nine was the last chapter of Understanding Comics: the Invisible Art. It was a simple chapter that just summed up each chapter of the book.
This was a good chapter because it refreshed my memory of everything that I had already read. It seems like this whole ordeal would have been a lot simpler if the whole book was that one chapter, but it probably wouldn’t make as much sense.


  1. I still think we should offer scott McCloud 10,000 doll hairs to come give us a cool speech. Do you think he'll bite? Maybe we can send him the request in audio form that way he'll never know that we're tricking him. hehe

  2. Nice interpretation of chapter seven. I liked that you included the comic of the survival and rproduction. It's a get piece and makes sense of what McCloud is trying to convey to his readers.

  3. Well, it looks like someone ran out of steam when writing this blog :-) There's virtually nothing about Chapter 9! What about his closing thoughts on the end of the book? What about your closing thoughts on the end of the book? For shame!