12 February 2012

The Sex (and Survival) Steps

Scott McCloud introduces the importance of the structure and development of comics. The concise attitude of which he holds is both fulfilling and satisfying in this chapter of The Six Steps in Understanding Comics. He tells us of a philosophy which is older than art itself; the human race has only two instincts and desires–survival and reproduction. Early on in the timeline of human existence, he describes the history of art was created out of boredom and frustration from physical emotion. He gives a variety of instances where common, daily art forms are used in our very simple lives. The explanation of this artistic development does not end here; he goes on to explain the development and concentration of specific art forms, like comics. The basic and most general outline of the whole prosperity of comics concerns six major developmental key steps, the first and foremost has to do with the creation of an idea and the purpose of the art form the artist intended. The second is the kind of art form and the decision in which it should be viewed and to what audience. The third, fourth and fifth give the art meaning and background as well as quality and individuality to which the art form needs to exist and be recognized. The sixth aspect and step of development of a great work is only noticeable to the general population; it can never be appreciated enough and can be easily be seen by anyone as art. He warns us most art created by novices might have an appealing surface, but only an expert in his craft understands art at its best level—the form, skill, and development of its piece.
            In my life, I can imaginably relate this chapter to something that is really important to me. Ever since I was in elementary school I have had an obsession with black and white darkroom photography. It has always been my passion to capture the elegant and true feelings and spiritual attributes of a person or object through lifeless color—black and white. In today’s age I see digital and automatic cameras galore, available to anyone who has money to sink into something that was once meaningful. The development and idea of composition, technique, and capturing the scene with which it can be savored for a life time is a substantial part of this art form. McCloud’s six steps are easily applicable to this, in ways unimaginable to a potential learner. The degree and quality of a film photographer can only be mastered through the engagement and commitment of the acts and form of a master. I learned from multiple people in my life; teachers, friends, and people working with photography all their lives. All of these people will agree with me that once a picture is taken by the correct methods and concepts, can the viewer fully immerse themselves in a world which was lived by the subject and the photographer. Photography has been forgotten and misunderstood because it is created where the internet and advanced technological media can give a specialized skill, the right to convince the rest of the population their pieces are art, to even the most undereducated beginners.


  1. Art is indeed in everyday life. Although an expert in art may be able to judge the concepts and methods of the novice, sometimes breaking the rules brings a very interesting twist to art. I like the points you make regarding how photography can also be compared to comics as a misunderstood art. Anyone can relate to McCloud and agree that self-expression has unlimited boundaries through art!

  2. I like the last paragraph where you talk about the black and white photography, it is true that rare art forms are sometimes forgotten. Also that once a purpose is achieved the viewer is also intact with what they can see in the art!

  3. Yes, really great post--especially your response about photography. Well done!