Finally: Understanding Comics

Sometimes I can’t decide where to write a post – here is one such. It belongs both places, so now here it is!

Comparative Geeks

Life being what it’s been, it’s taken me a while to finally finish reading Understanding Comics, by Scott McCloud. This had been recommended to me by several reliable sources, like GuestGeekBrian, and KazuKibuishi. And how long it took me to get to and read it should be no comment on this book either for how important it is nor how good it is.

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Because it is quite simply one of the best, most important books I have ever read.

In short, this 1992 book attempts to explore the art form of comics at the very core. What it is about comics that make them comics, and not just drawings, or picture books, or illustrated literature, or really any other medium or thing – they are their own thing, described in the singular and plural as “comics.”

Along the way, he argues against any thought that comics…

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If we were having coffee… Train of Thought Edition

“A thirst for the world’s knowledge.”

If we were having coffee, I’d talk about how I started listening to podcasts this week. There are some times at work where they just work great – I can be working on a task, and listening to that, and really actually get really efficient and in the zone. Of course, I’ve also found tasks where they’re a really bad idea… there’s always still listening to music, right?

Speaking of music, I’d ask if you’ve heard the new Florence & the Machine album… it’s pretty great.

I’d say I’ve been thinking about efficiency, about how to be doing things as quickly or effectively as possible, about finding the time again to do things like blog regularly, to work in new things like sketching. All around the Geek Baby, who is of course the priority. Podcasts are just one of those things, letting me double up my time.

And speaking of sketching, I’d mention that I’m thinking it’s time to step up what I’m doing with my Wordless Wednesdays. When they hit a year, it’s time to mix in some things I’ve drawn. And I’d mention I’m looking at taking some art classes.

I also finished reading Understanding Comics by Scott McCloud, and that really was one of the more important things I’ve ever read. It gave me a lot of perspective over things that I have more felt than really had words for. It also reminds me of my series on Science Fiction, Fantasy, and realistic versus romantic literature… it’s about exploring the art, explaining the art, such that it might actually be considered “art” by the establishment.

Which of course goes back to my history thesis, about William Hogarth. Who makes an appearance in Understanding Comics. So you can be sure I’ll be writing some blog posts about that! I think it’s always been comics for me. And I think that helps me finally understand why I haven’t been able to get going writing – because I think it’s comics I want to write, and not just words. We’ll see where that takes me.

I guess as I finish up my coffee I’d need to apologize for dumping so much… but we missed coffee last week, and there’s oh so much time for things to go through your head when you’re awake half the night… and oh so little time to get your thoughts organized.

How’re you? Have you heard Florence & the Machine’s new album? Read Understanding Comics?

Find more folks having coffee connected over on Part-Time Monster!

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