Monday, September 10, 2007

As my friend art-teacher Bert Stabler put it, reading McCloud’s first book, *Understanding Comics* is “like getting a lecture on sexual titillation from a talking pair of pants filled with lunchmeat.”

This is my first post as a contributor here, and I thought I'd link to this Noah Berlatsky review of Scott McCloud's Making Comics. There are parts of the review I take issue with, including the notion that copying other artists is such a surefire way to grow as an artist (it's certainly one aspect of studying art, and an important one, as is drawing from life, formal instruction, etc.) But for the most part, I think he's pretty on-point.

I've always had issues with McCloud - I haven't read Making Comics, but Understanding Comics always seemed like a such a drab, joyless read. It bothers me especially to see it as a prerequisite on almost any Graphic Novels course, including a course in French comic books I took in my first year at U of T. It felt very wrongheaded to be studying a Scott McCloud study of a Tintin page, when it was infinitely more effective to refer to the full-size Hergé page to analyze its formal properties.

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