21 February 2012

Moving Outward, NOT Forward

In the end of Understanding Comics Scott McCloud urges his readers to continue the discussion he began of comics. Although his book was a success, the discussion was not started. In order to reiterate his points and help get the discussion going McCloud wrote another book, The Twelve Revolutions. In the introduction he explains the poor state that the business of comics is in. For about ten years, starting in the eighties, the public image and sales of comics were increasing rapidly. Comic artists were hopeful that it was the beginning and that comics would finally be able to reach their full potential. But as rapid as the rise of comics was, the decline came much quicker. Many dreams were shut down when the opportunity to make money through comics was destroyed. The hope of making comics for a living were shut down, but the remaining comic artists had similar goals and hopes for the potential that comics have. He proposes twelve total ideas that all comic artists agree on. They believe that comics are literature, comics are art, that the creators should have financial rights, that the business could be reinvented to make money, that the public perception could improve, that schools could overcome there prejudice against comics, that comics can appeal to both genders, that comics could appeal to and be made by more minority groups, and that comics can have a diversity of genre. Later he talks about the possibility of comics through digital production, digital delivery, and digital comics. During the growth of comics in the eighties these goals all showed improvement. McCloud can see the future of comics being very bright if these areas continue to grow. The potential of comics is unbelievable if only people could understand that concept. But the challenge is to not forget the progress that has already happened. Comics need to grow outward instead of moving on away from everything has been done. In Understanding Comics, McCloud talks about comics from the inside, but in this book he describes the external life of comics, the value of them and the judgements from the outside.

One of the twelve goals of comic artists in this chapter is to increase the variation of genres in comics. McCloud talks about this a lot in Understanding Comics. His goal in his first book is to show that there could be a comic for everyone and he uses genre to help him prove his point. Comics don't have to have the same genre that they usually have. McCloud is reiterating this point in his second book because he dedicates an entire chapter to diversity of genre.


  1. Good summary, Marci, except that the book is titled Reinventing Comics and the chapter is called "The Twelve Revolutions" :-)

    I can see how you're connecting one of McCloud's points in RC to UC, but can you connect them more specifically? You're basically saying that one of McCloud's new chapters relates to his old book, and that's really vague.

  2. I made the same mistake of making the same reference to Understanding Comics without citing a certain passage. But I can't seem to find my book. I'm hoping I left it in class.

    I could see you enjoying a comic about eating pretzels and playing guitar. lol.