28 February 2012

The Belated Start to McCloud's Debate?

Dylan Horrocks, author of Inventing Comics: Scott McCloud’s Definition of Comics, writes an intricate rhetorical analysis on Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. He claims this book to be a very polemic piece of work and probably the most important book of comics theory published in English to this day. The article glances at the procedure McCloud takes to start explaining comics. He does so by eradicating the history in which comics are chained down to and consequently this is what keeps people from accepting or understanding comics. In his explanation he separates the form from the content to allow for people to appreciate the form apart from the conceived notions of its history. McCloud starts off by defining comics as “sequential art”. This simple, yet adequate definition is all that is needed to precisely determine comics. This definition does not include any genres, types of subject matter, philosophies, or materials used nor does it exclude any of these. Lastly, Horrocks takes a look at how McCloud discusses the relationship between pictures and words. According to McCloud words were derived from pictures and grew far apart until the modern comic was created reuniting words and pictures. McCloud adds to his definition that pictures must dominate the words in order for it to be classified as a comic.
            Horrocks states that McCloud is very persuasive with his arguments and therefore quite convincing with his descriptions. In McCloud’s Understanding Comics he tries to stimulate debate, but because of his persuasiveness and that most people that read his work were probably on his side of the agenda it never started. People were convinced this was what comics were left it at that. Although McCloud did an extraordinary job in his explanations and justifications with his charts and such, I believe he might’ve done too well of a job that no one felt to argue against his ideas except for one Dylan Horrocks.

1 comment:

  1. You spend a lot of time summarizing McCloud instead of Horrocks here. And the response is a little light.