28 February 2012

Show Me The Light Horrock

Let us review what we learned from Scott McCloud's Understanding Comics, or how about we take Dylan Horrock's approach. Horrock did not review what he learned from Understanding Comics; instead, he questions everything McCloud did within his own article Inventing Comics. He breaks down McCloud's book to it's simplest form pointing out every flaw and mistake. McCloud claims that he is trying to help people understand comics to the core, however, he really is creating his own agenda by reinventing comics by explaining it's form and guiding the comic world where it can go.

McCloud is trying to help comics break free from their old ways and stereotype so they can expand into their full potential. Horrock explains within his article that McCloud pulls us in by taking us to new grounds that have never existed; instead, he is creating a new world. He is taking us to his own Utopia of comics. McCloud begins by renaming the word comics to sequential art without even justifying his reason. McCloud continues to blindside his readers by convincing us that he is right and his Utopia is the perfect place for comics to go. In a sense McCloud is the Hitler of comics he is the leader and the readers are his followers' feeding into everything he is dishing out at us.

Obviously none of us want to be followers' or sucked into a world that does not exist. That is when Horrock steps in to help us see the light again. He explains that McCloud is telling his readers what comics should and should not be; along with, what people should value in comics. This is what his Utopia feeds off of: sequential art and what comics should be. He brainwashes us with his ideas by using charts, grids, etc. Instead of comics being described by their content that push society to believe comics are childish he eliminates the content and only discuses the form of comics. Horrock asserts that McCloud believes the form to be the vessel of comics, or in other words the main element. Each art form has it's own vessel but comics vessel is sequential art. Horrock helps his readers discover that McCloud believes that comics should be dominated by pictures. This refers back to how McCloud began defining comics as a pictorial sequence and how Monet's painting sequence is a comics.

In the end where did McCloud take his readers? Well, Horrock believes McCloud took us to his office where all his ideas exist and comics is now known as sequential art. If anything Understanding Comics is an anarchy for McClouds Utopia of comics. The readers are now left with questioning McClouds true purpose. Personally, I believe McCloud is sick of the stereotype so instead of looking back on it he eliminates and tries to take comics to their next level, or in Horrock's belief it's new home. McCloud is pushing everyone towards this new world of sequential art without ever stopping to justify it, or even tell us the true purpose behind Understanding Comics. Horrock helped me see the light, he pulled me from McCloud's manipulation and has me wondering how McCloud pulled me in as one of his followers'. Whether people decide to agree or disagree with McCloud is up to them and it will decide the fate of McCloud's true mission, which was to take comics/ sequential art to their new home.


  1. Let me start off by saying your use of "Utopia" was awesome. You definiteley took a different approach than I did which made me realize Horrocks wasn't being so cruel, more supportive and thought McCloud was of tricking the reader into beleiving his definition which was genius! I applaud you on your post! Very nice.

    1. Thanks, I agree that Horrocks might not have been bashing on McCloud; because, he truly believes that Understanding Comics is a pure genius comic book. Personally, I think Horrocks wants us to see how McCloud's book really works.

  2. Excellent points, and great comments!