02 October 2009

Slowly Fading Away

The Twelve Revolutions first starts off by establishing McCloud’s credibility in comics. McCloud has been making comics for fifteen years. He explains how he isn’t using comics to get fame, but instead wants comics to reach its full potential. McCloud discusses that in the eighties, comics were about to come together in a big way. There was a rapid increase in comic book specialty stores and more varied and large supply of comics on its shelves. Sales and innovation were up and the public image was up. Although, from 1994 to 1998 a large number of American comic book retailers shut down. Too much of the comic’s growth had been built on considering comics to be a collectors item. Many fans abandoned comics because of there bad experience and peoples hope’s were misplaced. Scott McCloud gives us nine ideas that were common but few objected to, and worked hard to achieve: 1)Comics as Literature 2) Comics as Art 3)Creators Rights 4)Industry Innovation 5)Public Perception 6)Institutional Scrutiny 7)Gender Balance 8)Minority Representation 9)Diversity of Genre . Scott McCloud explains that from 1984 to 1994 did in fact show progress in most of these ideas. Creator ownership and control made impressive strides. Comics even gained the distinctive quality of coolness, but wasn’t able to spread it with anyone. Scott McCloud says that there is a lot more ideas out there ready to be found, but if the business of comics doesn’t improve, these new ideas will never be discovered. McCloud states that America is one of the constant innovation and no matter what the state of comics is at the end of the century, the next generation wont rest. He also adds that the revolutions in comics have rarely been the product of centrally planned group efforts. There are usually one to two people who get involved in comics then the group tends to grow as others join one at a time. McCloud believes that in order for comics to reach its full potential as an art form and market, comics must expand its territory, by going into many different areas and not losing sight of what we accomplished in the past. The second half of the book talks about three new revolutions that all deal with computers which is Digital Production, Digital Delivery, and Digital Comics. McCloud says that the twelve directions that comics can grow are definitely a potential for anyone of these factors to change comics.

I thought that this reading was a little difficult to read. I thought that some points that he made were interesting, but other than that I thought it was boring. I thought that Understanding Comics was way more interesting and fun to read. It just seems like he goes on and on and on. I think he could definitely get to the point quicker to get his message across. But he did make me feel bad for comics because they had such high expectations and ended up not meeting them. I think that he's desperately trying to persuade more people to support comics because we control whether there is a future for it or not.


  1. hmmm I agree with you...I think the reason for his book or books are so they can persuade us to change to the dark side and support comics or atleast come away with the thought that comics are more than what they seem.
    I liked Understanding Comics maybe just a lil more...they were about the same though...

  2. The dark side?!

    Good post, Kahoku--you've definitely grasped his main ideas. And I agree UC is way more interesting :-)