22 February 2012

Viva la Revolución!!!

“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” - C.S Lewis
C.S Lewis the writer of the children’s classic The Chronicles of Narnia, gives us the above inspirational quote that can relate to the evolution of comics.  Unfortunately, the comic as well as other reading materials, in general, are not the dominant form of communication today.  The comic has fallen victim to current technology and our fast paced lifestyle, but this failure to captivate or fascinate the majority of the population is only a bump in the road on that long metamorphic journey toward success.  The comic’s path has been a rough and bumpy one, indeed, but it must always keep on reinventing what it truly is, and what it can become.

In the chapter of Scott McCloud’s second book Reinventing Comics entitled Big World there is a definite focus on the future of comics and how to expand and move this type of medium forward.  Scott McCloud gives us the dismal fact that fewer people read comics and graphic novels due to the lack of diversity within the medium itself, and that if this changed more people would not only be drawn toward the comic, but to reading as well.  He also goes into detail on three of the twelve revolutions of comics; the twelve together create the middle ground where comic creators agree on what a comic can do, and become.  The first of these three revolutions Scott McCloud shows us in this chapter is, Gender Imbalance, not only of the comic creators, but the readers as well.  Traditionally, most creators of comics have been male, but the women of our society have started to overcome the obstacles of becoming a comic creator, and by doing so, have broadened the scope of readers.  The second of the three revolutions is Minority Representation.  A person from a particular ethnic group can tell a story about his particular culture better than someone from a different ethnic background.  In essence, the more diversity comic creators have culturally, the more diverse the readers will become.  Finally, Scott McCloud brings to our attention the last of these three revolutions, Diversity of Genre. He shows us how the genres of past comics have been determined by what sells or what people buy.  To create a new genre in the comic world, the comic creators must conform their comic-creating techniques to the ruling genre that is making the most sales at the time, or suffer the rejection of the majority of comic readers.  Scott McCloud shows us that though the diversity of genre in comics is difficult to achieve, it has been done, and can still be used to diversify and expand the readers of comics today and in the future.

In chapter six of Scott McCloud’s first book, Understanding Comics The Invisible Art, he briefly discusses the view of present society that books containing pictures are mostly for children and that as we get older, we should be reading more complex literature with less pictures.  In his second book, Reinventing Comics, he gives a solution on how to change this all too prevalent view.  He suggests that if there was more variation within the content of the comic, they would appeal to a broader range of readers making the comic more popular than ever before.  These changes would not only improve the overall image of the comic, but would also help reverse the decline in reading, and help keep this form of communication alive for the enjoyment of future generations.  The world we live in is one global society and comics can be used to unite and reach as many potential readers as possible if the creators of comics will keep pushing the boundaries of change.  

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