14 February 2011

Don't Judge By the Cover Alone

In chapter 7 McCloud decides to throw some more information at his reader. McCloud explains that the creation of any work in art will always follow a certain path. This path that he talks about consists of six different steps. These six steps include Idea/Purpose, Form, Idiom, Structure, Craft, and Surface. The first step, Idea, is really just the purpose of everything that you're creating. The second, Form, is the literally the form of art that you choose to go into. This can include anything from comics to sculpting. The third step is Idiom. Idiom is actually like the genre that you'll use in the art that you choose to pursue. Structure is the forth step. The structure step is how you decide to put everything all together so that each piece or picture agree with one another. The fifth and sixth steps are Craft and Surface. Craft is the understanding and invention that you put into your art while Surface is the exposure to your work. McCloud says that any form of art will always come go through these six stages. Each one is needed for any form of art that you create. So, if you look deep enough into any form of art, you'll find these six steps at the very core.

At the end of this chapter McCloud talks about what happens after our art has undergone all six of the stages. He focuses on several different artists but finally narrows it down to the last. McCloud says that this artist has a difficult decision to make about his art: "Does this artist want to say something about life through his art or does he want to say something about art itself?" For this decision, the artist must go back and choose between the first or the second step. If he chooses Form, it could lead him to become a revolutionist. However, if he chooses Idea/Purpose, he can speak to the world through his work. And then, eventually the world comes back around and starts back at square one.

In all honesty I wasn't looking forward to reading this chapter at all. The first few pages didn't spark an interest. I did become interested once it started getting to where McCloud started describing each artist and the steps that he/she went through. Then I started thinking about all the work that I had been doing for each of my classes along with previous classes. Even when writing our rhetorical analysis paper do we use these steps. Idea and purpose were used for the content of our papers. Our form was the paper itself. Idiom is our vocabulary and subject matter along with structure being MLA format. Craft is used for our papers just by our will to "get the job done." Now surface in our paper is harder to put my thumb on. I don't really see how surface comes into a rhetorical analysis paper but I'm thinking that maybe it has to do with the way that the essay itself is presented. But, this chapter actually contains some valuable points in the pursuit of the understanding of comic value.


  1. Nice summary, Jakob, but you never point out the actual creation of the work in the 6 steps.

    Still, not a bad post--it'll be interesting to see if your peers agree with how you applied the 6 steps :-)

  2. I really like your summary, it really details what McCloud talks about in the chapter.