10 June 2009

Six Steps to Putting it all Togethor

Chapters seven and nine of Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics The Invisible Art, consists of the deeper meaning of comics to the creator and average people. Chapter seven asks the question, "can comics be art?" McCloud admits that the question is far fetched, but of course answers yes. McCloud claims that art is brought forth by humans down time. Humans have two instincts, survival and reproduction, and art is created when there is nothing else to do. In down time art gives humans three important activities 1) physical and mental exercise, 2) art provides a emotional outlet key to human survival, and 3) random acts can lead to new discoveries. It boils down to that every human creates some form or another of art. I find this to be true from my own experiences. My everyday experiences are based on survival, and sometimes reproduction. At the same time though I cannot count on two hands how many times random and thoughtless things have lead me to something fun and exciting. From here McCloud goes on to claim that artist do not paint, write, or make comics for the fame and fortune. They simply do it for the self satisfaction and the higher goal, ART. Artist basically say that their art has only one value, it is important to society. Sometimes the art is truly important, but the kicker is that all mediums of art are created the same way. The six step process of 1) idea/purpose, 2) form, 3) idiom, 4) structure, 5) craft, and 6) surface. Image a apple having the six layers, the outside is the surface and the center is idea/purpose. The average person looking from the outside in only sees the surface of the work, but if one digs deeper there is another world on the other side. It all starts with a individual who starts reading comics and takes an interest ,slowly and surely him/her works their way to the deeper meanings. The individual who goes clear to the center of the apple are often pioneers and inventors of their craft. That particular individuals apple may not come out in perfect shape as another, but the six steps are still applied. In art this six step system may be the end all and be all, but for me it doesn't work that way. In my life nothing was ever broke down this much in front me. Just keep trying and sooner or latter you will get it in some shape of form.

Wrapping up all this madness chapter nine reviews and re-explains the entire book. McCloud feels that comics hold the key to human minds and personality's. Everything is lost in the fire because one individual cannot see and feel what another individual sees and feels. Comics are a medium to people to truly be heard, and the better we understand the better we will hear what they are saying. The neat thing is that comics can be read and constructed by anyone, age or ethnicity. I agree with McCloud because I find myself having a hard time conveying ideas and emotions to others. I don't know if comics are the best mediums, but the human race has to start somewhere.


  1. haha You seem to be more positive about your experience in reading chapter seven. I was confused about the whole thing and I didn't really get the message. Your summary gives me a new perspective to look at, but my opinoins still stand. Also, I agree with you for chapter nine because I think that it truly is difficult for people to communicate. Art is a good way to get a message out to people. :]

  2. You seem to have really grasped McCloud's concepts here and applied those ideas to your own life. Well done.

    I would say to read over your work a little more closely and clarify some of the complex bits. Also, be careful to remember to put quotes around the author's own words.