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Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an Art Form

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In 1993, Scott McCloud tore down the wall between high and low culture with the acclaimed international hit Understanding Comics, a massive comic book that explored the inner workings of the worlds most misunderstood art form. Now, McCloud takes comics to te next leavle, charting twelve different revolutions in how comics are created, read, and preceived today, and how the In 1993, Scott McCloud tore down the wall between high and low culture with the acclaimed international hit Understanding Comics, a massive comic book that explored the inner workings of the worlds most misunderstood art form. Now, McCloud takes comics to te next leavle, charting twelve different revolutions in how comics are created, read, and preceived today, and how they're poised to conquer the new millennium. Part One of this fascinating and in-depth book includes: The life of comics as an art form and as literture The battle for creators' rights Reinventing the business of comics The volatile and shifting public percptions of comics Sexual and ethnic representation on comics Then in Part Two, McCloud paints a brethtaling picture of comics' digital revolutions, including: The intricacies of digital production The exploding world of online delivery The ultimate challenges of the infinite digital canvas


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In 1993, Scott McCloud tore down the wall between high and low culture with the acclaimed international hit Understanding Comics, a massive comic book that explored the inner workings of the worlds most misunderstood art form. Now, McCloud takes comics to te next leavle, charting twelve different revolutions in how comics are created, read, and preceived today, and how the In 1993, Scott McCloud tore down the wall between high and low culture with the acclaimed international hit Understanding Comics, a massive comic book that explored the inner workings of the worlds most misunderstood art form. Now, McCloud takes comics to te next leavle, charting twelve different revolutions in how comics are created, read, and preceived today, and how they're poised to conquer the new millennium. Part One of this fascinating and in-depth book includes: The life of comics as an art form and as literture The battle for creators' rights Reinventing the business of comics The volatile and shifting public percptions of comics Sexual and ethnic representation on comics Then in Part Two, McCloud paints a brethtaling picture of comics' digital revolutions, including: The intricacies of digital production The exploding world of online delivery The ultimate challenges of the infinite digital canvas

30 review for Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an Art Form

  1. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay

    Better as a cultural artefact than anything else (though I did occasionally enjoy certain historical tidbits). Perhaps this would have been more hard-hitting if I had read it when it was published in 2000, but half-assed discussions of diversity and cutting edge technology like CD-ROMs makes it woefully obsolete (and the writing wasn't anywhere near as engaging as its predecessor). Understanding Comics needs an update just because I'm interested in his take on the subject matter now; this is in Better as a cultural artefact than anything else (though I did occasionally enjoy certain historical tidbits). Perhaps this would have been more hard-hitting if I had read it when it was published in 2000, but half-assed discussions of diversity and cutting edge technology like CD-ROMs makes it woefully obsolete (and the writing wasn't anywhere near as engaging as its predecessor). Understanding Comics needs an update just because I'm interested in his take on the subject matter now; this is in dire need of an update for it to maintain any measurable relevance. ******* Counting as my (FINAL!) Panels Read Harder item for a book about comics.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Desktop Metaphor

    Other than his 3D Lincoln comic this is probably Scott McCloud's most overlooked comic, but unlike the Lincoln thing this book deserves your attention. Yeah, even today, still. Many people have claimed that this book was dated when it hit the shelves and is certainly irrelevant now, a historical curiosity at best. That's partly true. McCloud's cry for more diversity in subject and viewpoint in comics is as relevant as ever (the dated caricatures of 90's diversity notwithstanding,) and his histor Other than his 3D Lincoln comic this is probably Scott McCloud's most overlooked comic, but unlike the Lincoln thing this book deserves your attention. Yeah, even today, still. Many people have claimed that this book was dated when it hit the shelves and is certainly irrelevant now, a historical curiosity at best. That's partly true. McCloud's cry for more diversity in subject and viewpoint in comics is as relevant as ever (the dated caricatures of 90's diversity notwithstanding,) and his history of the business side of comics... well that's certainly a historical curiosity now, but history is important, ESPECIALLY in business, where people tend to take the same old pratfalls over and over. His micro-payments proposal is less than inspiring, and is the weakest part of the book by far, especially now with the benefit of hindsight. He identifies the problem (specifically: "Whoops, we've been giving away all of our comics for free, how do we earn money off this now?") But then he fails to provide a compelling solution. Now it's 15 years later and webcomics are in a worse hole than ever. The successful comics are still successful, but the only viable merch for an up an coming creator to sell is a printed version of their comic, effectively preventing webcomics from taking advantage of the power of the WEB at all, instead using it as a stopgap until enough of a readership forms to PRINT THE BOOK. That's not Scott McCloud's fault, but this book didn't help, either. So why am I giving the book a 5-star rating? Well, it's kind of a low five, considering all the chapters that fail to be manifestos and now feel more like filler. But there is a stunning jewel in the surrounding stone, and if you chipped away everything else the book would still be worth whatever you paid for it (these days probably like a quarter) for this chapter alone. Of course I'm talking about the Infinite Canvas and Digital Comics chapter. Even it is not free of dated details, particularly a section on the wonders of Kid Pix, BUT DON'T LET THAT DISTRACT YOU. Scott McCloud's vision for the future of comics is crystal clear here, at last. And it's one of the most inspiring bits of comics theory I ever read, maybe moreso than Understanding Comics. Infinite Canvas is a road not nearly as well traveled as it by rights aught to be, but that doesn't make it a flawed concept. Some people see Infinite Canvas as a gimmick, and indeed the chapter can read like a list of gimmicks, if that's what you're expecting to find. Let's do as Scott does, though, and separate form from content. What's the difference between a gimmick and legitimate storytelling technique? Well, a gimmick is a technique that exists for the sake of itself, that holds no content, except maybe the extremely obvious or superficial. All it takes for a gimmick to transform into a legitimate technique is for somebody to recognize a way for this gimmick to deliver content in a way that no other technique could. And Scott McCloud makes a compelling case that the right creators could blow this whole comics thing wide open, transform comics into its most primal form and then transcend it, using Infinite Canvas (which is a MUCH more broad concept than people think) as their tool. That more people haven't heeded Scott's call is saddening, but it's understandable. This book is not Understanding Comics. That book was revolutionary in how it attempted to free comics from their cultural baggage and dig into what really made them tick, at the core. As transgressive as the idea that comics have "infinite potential" was at the time, you didn't have to leave the safety of your favorite genre to appreciate it. Reinventing Comics on the other hand (at least, the good parts of it) was a roadmap for the future. Scott McCloud does not seem like a violent man, so he stopped short of asking us to tear down society, but in order to appreciate Infinite Canvas we had to, at least, tear ourselves away from our comfort zone. And wade through some muck to get there, besides. So it's understandable that only a select few have really taken his message to heart. But listen: it's not too late.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    Read through it in the library today. This is the first book I'm reading from Scott McCloud, however I hope to read more. In the first chapter, he outlines reasons why he's worried about the comics industry, but it's very clear he's writing from the 90's. It really had me thinking, every other sentence, I wonder what the state of affairs is now and whether he's still concerned. He described a kind of "bubble" of comics-creation that inflated and then burst in the 90's. I work in the games industry Read through it in the library today. This is the first book I'm reading from Scott McCloud, however I hope to read more. In the first chapter, he outlines reasons why he's worried about the comics industry, but it's very clear he's writing from the 90's. It really had me thinking, every other sentence, I wonder what the state of affairs is now and whether he's still concerned. He described a kind of "bubble" of comics-creation that inflated and then burst in the 90's. I work in the games industry, and it was honestly rather interesting to hear the way he described the comics industry of the "bubble" time, in which it seemed the demand for comics was going up and up, but really it had reached its peak-- it a little bit makes me reflect on the games industry that I'm familiar with at this present moment. I was interested in this book just to see if Scott McCloud had any tips for the how-to's of developing and creating comics-- I didn't find as much as I was hoping for, maybe I'll find it in one of his other works. I read through the chapters about 'digital comics', it was really more a reflection of what McCloud expected, at the time of writing this, the effect of computers would be on comics. At times I was groaning over the out-dated-ness, at other times I was stunned by some kinda outlandish ideas (comics on a rotating virtual cube? Virtual-reality comics? very Holodeck...) and there are a few things he mentioned which seem to have come true, in a general way-- like digital comics. One thing that *was* very interesting and helpful and my favorite part, was his review of the history of comics publishing houses. That was very interesting to read from an insider. In general, I do like McCloud's style of illustrating concepts and simplifying complex ideas down to hilarious and effective pictures, and he does this all the time throughout the book. I am still looking forward to finding some of his other stuff.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Owen Curtsinger

    Understanding Comics was understandably groundbreaking and something that I still draw inspiration from (no pun intended), but this appendix-like follow-up doesn't hold the same clout. Whereas Understanding Comics was a timeless philosophical study for the sake of the art, Reinventing Comics moors itself firmly in the late 90s, exhaustively studying the history and industry of comics as it stood in the 90s and how it may shape up in the then-future. The entire second half of the book is based on Understanding Comics was understandably groundbreaking and something that I still draw inspiration from (no pun intended), but this appendix-like follow-up doesn't hold the same clout. Whereas Understanding Comics was a timeless philosophical study for the sake of the art, Reinventing Comics moors itself firmly in the late 90s, exhaustively studying the history and industry of comics as it stood in the 90s and how it may shape up in the then-future. The entire second half of the book is based on an extensive and often esoteric study of where comics are going in the digital age, which McCloud acknowledges very early on will probably seem out-dated in the very near future. If that was so clear in 2000, then why devote such a huge endeavor to something that will so quickly seem embarrassingly dated upon reading in 2017? I appreciate reading much of the first half of the book, where he argues for more gender equality in the industry and more diverse topics by a different range of creators; furthermore I'm old enough to remember the strange potential that a CD-ROM comic "book" held, and the agonizing bandwidth speeds that carried the early internet, so I can relate to the topics presented in the second half, but this dated study should have been a short appendix to his timeless classic, not an entire book worth. What must have been an exciting and interesting read in the first few years after publication is now largely a waste of time.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Shriya

    Understanding Comics is significantly better and definitely stands the test of time much better (the half of this that discussed Technology seemed small-thinking in 2017 since it was written in 2000; I suppose it's exciting that many of McCloud's predictions definitely came true -- but it also left me wanting much more because I wonder what predictions he has NOW for what comics will look like in 2040) but this was a fun and interesting read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Neven

    A more pragmatic book than his Understanding Comics—and thus a bit less timeless, perhaps—this is nevertheless a clear, well argued and explained essay.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Watkins

    Persuasive, thoughtful, and clear. Comics-as-essay still is a niche style, although I would like to see it used more, and McCloud is a master of the form.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Jay Daze

    Karl Marx was a great describer of capitalism, but turned out to be pretty terrible at forecasting its fall. It is a lot harder to predict or influence the future direction of something than it is to describe it. McCloud gives it a good college try, though from 2011 Reinventing Comics has aged a lot more than Understanding Comics. I am impressed that McCloud for the most part doesn't fall on his face, though as I read it I was constantly wondering how he is reacting to the state of comics NOW - Karl Marx was a great describer of capitalism, but turned out to be pretty terrible at forecasting its fall. It is a lot harder to predict or influence the future direction of something than it is to describe it. McCloud gives it a good college try, though from 2011 Reinventing Comics has aged a lot more than Understanding Comics. I am impressed that McCloud for the most part doesn't fall on his face, though as I read it I was constantly wondering how he is reacting to the state of comics NOW - which is the pitfall of a book that is positioned on the tip of the quick moving digital revolution. I'm sure there are parts of this book that were out of date by the time it took for the book to be published - hell, even as McCloud was inking this sucker you wonder how much he had to tear up and re-write. Like with Understanding Comics McCloud tries not to get too bogged down in the minutia, he focuses on the conceptual heart of comics - "sequential art". Most of the subject of this book is McCloud's hopes for his favourite art media - comics - it's filled with his bias for a wider field for comics to play. You can feel his frustration that the majority of the comic business has stuck to superheroes. I wish there was a wider field myself, and I can see McCloud's points that comics have so much potential. Yet McCloud finishes his book in rather airy, some-what hysterical rhetorical flourish. It is such a symbolic flourish I wonder if it is a way to paper over the fact that he has many wishes and hopes for the future, but is actually pessimistic that the same forces that have kept comics restricted to the men-in-tights genre are going to continue to predominate in Western comic culture. There have been hey-days in the past for independent/indie comics; it isn't out of the question that something may emerge in the future. The potential is there. But I don't think McCloud has the answer in his book.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Zach Danielson

    This sequel to Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art is more fragmented, kinda preachy, and less interesting. Part 1 of his manifesto for the reinvention of comics focuses on their public perception, industry missteps, and the need for more diversity (in all senses of the word). Solid stuff. Part 2 focuses on the digital revolution and its implications for comics' creation, distribution, and format. He ends with some lofty talk about comics breaking free of the printed page. His idea of the infi This sequel to Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art is more fragmented, kinda preachy, and less interesting. Part 1 of his manifesto for the reinvention of comics focuses on their public perception, industry missteps, and the need for more diversity (in all senses of the word). Solid stuff. Part 2 focuses on the digital revolution and its implications for comics' creation, distribution, and format. He ends with some lofty talk about comics breaking free of the printed page. His idea of the infinite canvas is interesting, but it's ten years later and there still don't seem to be any good implementations (I checked his website).

  10. 5 out of 5

    Steve Tetreault

    I picked up this tome because I thoroughly enjoyed McCloud's first book, Understanding Comics (which I strongly urge you to check out if you haven't yet). That first book is focused on timeless theories about what makes comics and graphic novels worth reading, and how to read them. This one is longer and, because it's about the early 2000's and the technology that was coming on the scene at the time, it feels a lot more dated. There are still some interesting ideas and insights, and it's sad tha I picked up this tome because I thoroughly enjoyed McCloud's first book, Understanding Comics (which I strongly urge you to check out if you haven't yet). That first book is focused on timeless theories about what makes comics and graphic novels worth reading, and how to read them. This one is longer and, because it's about the early 2000's and the technology that was coming on the scene at the time, it feels a lot more dated. There are still some interesting ideas and insights, and it's sad that nearly 20 years later, some of the battles for equality that McCloud thought were just over the horizon are still being fought; but McCloud's sincere belief in the importance of comics to tell stories as no other media can is engaging and refreshing.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Ann

    After Understanding Comics, this was disappointing. The economic analysis did make sense and I'm fully on board with the need for both authorial and genre diversity. However the long-winded exposition about comics' potential as an art form, especially in the digital realm, far exceeded my interest in the subject. Also, McCloud's prose style (long, declarative, overly dramatic sentences bisected by "but" or "and") grew very tiresome after 200 pages and the second half of the book needed a severe After Understanding Comics, this was disappointing. The economic analysis did make sense and I'm fully on board with the need for both authorial and genre diversity. However the long-winded exposition about comics' potential as an art form, especially in the digital realm, far exceeded my interest in the subject. Also, McCloud's prose style (long, declarative, overly dramatic sentences bisected by "but" or "and") grew very tiresome after 200 pages and the second half of the book needed a severe editorial pruning.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dustin Hanvey

    McCloud is something of a genius. Though his first book will likely remain his masterpiece, this one stands tall as well, not only explaining the ways in which comics as a method of art delivery can survive, but also how new technology will enable and alter the works. He presents a better explanation of the internet than Thomas Friedman while not giving in to the goblins of globalization in the way Friedman does in much of his work. Recommend to all lovers of art and where it will go in the 21st McCloud is something of a genius. Though his first book will likely remain his masterpiece, this one stands tall as well, not only explaining the ways in which comics as a method of art delivery can survive, but also how new technology will enable and alter the works. He presents a better explanation of the internet than Thomas Friedman while not giving in to the goblins of globalization in the way Friedman does in much of his work. Recommend to all lovers of art and where it will go in the 21st century.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    Like McCloud's earlier Understanding Comics, this book is a must-read for anyone who plans to work in the graphic novel genre. Though it's now eight years from its publication date, its predictive power and perspective remain right on target(and the presentation style keeps it a fascinating read). Find a copy and enjoy it!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Heather

    Back in the mindset of if I'm losing reading time to research, I'm putting them here. It helps when they're about comic books, and fully illustrated as if it was a comic book. More textbooks should be like this.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Garden

    Well, I for one certainly was not thinking about the Internet in 2000, so all the stuff in here you'll be warned is dated was pretty fascinating to me. He's such a good man, and thorough.

  16. 5 out of 5

    CTEP

    While Reinventing Comics may not appear entirely relevant to CTEPers at first glance, Scott McCloud’s case for technology revolutionizing the future of comics brings me back to our discussion of digital inclusion. I originally picked the book up as a reference for a Comic Book Creator class I am co-teaching with my site supervisor, but upon reading it realized it was useful in discussing digital inclusion as well. Scott McCloud argues that technology changes two main things in the comics world: 1 While Reinventing Comics may not appear entirely relevant to CTEPers at first glance, Scott McCloud’s case for technology revolutionizing the future of comics brings me back to our discussion of digital inclusion. I originally picked the book up as a reference for a Comic Book Creator class I am co-teaching with my site supervisor, but upon reading it realized it was useful in discussing digital inclusion as well. Scott McCloud argues that technology changes two main things in the comics world: 1) Comics Creation and 2) Comics Delivery. Technology is integral in comics creation today. While some comics artists still pencil and ink their drawings by hand, all comics artists use computers in the colorization process and/or final production of their comic. Additionally, McCloud states that computers allow anyone to publish their comics, without the need to secure a publisher. This also cuts out the many middle men (publisher, printer, distributer, and retailer) and allows for comics artists to charge less for their work and still make more in the process. In fact, one of the main things McCloud is hopeful for in the future of comics is a diversification of genres and authors. He believes that the advent of online comics will accomplish this. However, this very empowering idea neglects to point out one thing, that in order for artists to do this, they must first have access to a computer, the necessary software, and the Internet. Maybe the discussion of the digital divide is not relevant to the discussion of comics, but it seems that McCloud’s predictions are more nuanced than he originally predicted. At any rate, it’s an interesting discussion, and it illustrates how sensitive I’ve become to the idea of digital inclusion throughout my service year. The book is a bit dated and only tangentially related to CTEP, so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it. If you heart comics, though, it’s worth a once over!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bowen

    Scott McCloud the author, describes Reinventing Comics not as a sequel to Understanding Comics but as it’s own book. Reinventing Comics focuses more on the business side of comics and how comic artist were affected by the fall of comics in the 1990’s due to drop in sales, interest and limited collector items almost killed comics and caused a large majority of comic book stores to be shut down. Many people believe that this book is solly McCloud's opinions rather than breaking down how comics wor Scott McCloud the author, describes Reinventing Comics not as a sequel to Understanding Comics but as it’s own book. Reinventing Comics focuses more on the business side of comics and how comic artist were affected by the fall of comics in the 1990’s due to drop in sales, interest and limited collector items almost killed comics and caused a large majority of comic book stores to be shut down. Many people believe that this book is solly McCloud's opinions rather than breaking down how comics work and how they rose and declined in popularity through the 1990’s. Though McCloud does mention in his book that these are mostly his ideas on how to fix how comics are sold, advertised and made. Here’s more about the book itself, Reinventing Comics, just like Understanding Comics is drawn like an old comic book, panel to panel. The art style can be seen as bland and boring since there is no action and all you see is the author’s character talking directly to the reader. Though, McCloud does use great examples from real life comics and artist to prove his point along with the funny/strange visuals from time to time. Overall, Reinventing Comics isn’t an awful book and it isn’t a long read, but it doesn’t live fully up to Understanding Comics. There are still things to learn from it, like how the internet changed how comics are read and viewed and at times it seems that McCloud is demonizing online retailers for selling comics instead of a physical copy. But I wouldn’t buy this book at its current price, $17.89, I feel it might be a little overpriced and outdated to be so much.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jaq Greenspon

    I love Scott McCloud. I love the way he thinks about the art form of comics and I love the fact he has embraced the technological revolution whole-heartedly. That said, this is a fascinating book for a number of reasons. While I'm a huge fan and have owned Understanding Comics and Designing Comics, reading them several times each over the years, if I've read this one before, I don't remember it. And I think part of that reason is because the this other two are much more timeless, dealing with un I love Scott McCloud. I love the way he thinks about the art form of comics and I love the fact he has embraced the technological revolution whole-heartedly. That said, this is a fascinating book for a number of reasons. While I'm a huge fan and have owned Understanding Comics and Designing Comics, reading them several times each over the years, if I've read this one before, I don't remember it. And I think part of that reason is because the this other two are much more timeless, dealing with universalities in terms of form and function, storytelling and design. Reinventing, on the other hand, is looking at both the transitory nature of the industry and the technology used to produce the actual product said industry manufacturers. It is not, by any stretch, timeless. And that is what makes it so fascinating. Written in 2000, 17 years ago as of this writing, it's amazing to see what McCloud got right as well as what he got wrong about where the future would lead us. Some of his ideas on the ever-expanding canvas and the form online comics could and would take have come to pass and seen fruition. While others have not. There was no way he could have predicted the smart phone, but he did nail the idea of tablets and e-readers. Over all, it's certainly well worth the read, even if it's just as a culturally important historical marker. What would be even better, though, would be an updated version - becuase I, for one, wold love to see where McCloud thinks we're going to be 17 years from now.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    Reinventing Comics is a fascinating look at the evolution of comics and digital media in the Internet age. McCloud was incredibly prescient, and despite its age this book still has important things to say about what comics and technology can do for storytellers. I only identified one topics that McCloud, and many others, were dead wrong about: the rise of novel forms of data visualization. I mean, don't get me wrong, data visualization is huge, but mostly using visual metaphors similar to those t Reinventing Comics is a fascinating look at the evolution of comics and digital media in the Internet age. McCloud was incredibly prescient, and despite its age this book still has important things to say about what comics and technology can do for storytellers. I only identified one topics that McCloud, and many others, were dead wrong about: the rise of novel forms of data visualization. I mean, don't get me wrong, data visualization is huge, but mostly using visual metaphors similar to those that existed before the computer age. Very few people are doing, say, this any more: http://visuwords.com/grey As a librarian, I'm fascinated by these applications of new media, but can't decide how much promise spatial visualization has for conveying ideas. Partner and I were discussing the subject and decided that learning new spatial metaphors is just plain hard. For instance, it requires effort to learn how to read maps, just like comics (or computer screens).

  20. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    This is a prescient book that is relevant to all creative people, not just those who care about comics. McCloud covers issues ranging from creative ownership to the impact of technology on the distribution pipeline (and thus creative freedom). Many of these issues apply to technologists as well as to artists (consider how services like AWS have made it easier to create internet based businesses). Even though the book was written in 2000, McCloud's analysis of the internet with respect to publishi This is a prescient book that is relevant to all creative people, not just those who care about comics. McCloud covers issues ranging from creative ownership to the impact of technology on the distribution pipeline (and thus creative freedom). Many of these issues apply to technologists as well as to artists (consider how services like AWS have made it easier to create internet based businesses). Even though the book was written in 2000, McCloud's analysis of the internet with respect to publishing is still accurate, and some of what he suggests will happen isn't quite there yet. This is an interesting, inspirational book, whether you read comics, create them, or are just interested in visual story telling forms, or the possibilities of digital media.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Loki

    A continuation of some of the ideas in his first volume, this book looks at comics unfulfilled potentials. Originally published back in 2000, it's also a tad more utopian about webcomics and digital media in general being the salvation of the comics form than really seems justified nearly two decades later (for at that it's unusually clear-sighted about the inevitability of the dot-com crash that hit a year or so later). But like its predecessor, it's smart, thoughtful and clearly expressed. McC A continuation of some of the ideas in his first volume, this book looks at comics unfulfilled potentials. Originally published back in 2000, it's also a tad more utopian about webcomics and digital media in general being the salvation of the comics form than really seems justified nearly two decades later (for at that it's unusually clear-sighted about the inevitability of the dot-com crash that hit a year or so later). But like its predecessor, it's smart, thoughtful and clearly expressed. McCloud's art is simple, but never simplistic, and combines very well with his words to get his ideas across.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Camilo Vasquez

    Really engaging, both as an essay on comics and as a graphic narration, loved the way MacCloud used the icons to show how to add a new layer of meaning to comic, it may be not a prophetic work on how markets and comic industry are developing, but his overall look at technology, authors, public an editors can be easily aprehended and applied to the contemporary comic world to draw new conclusions, buyt above all, its a calling to expand the boundaries of sequential art, and in that its completely Really engaging, both as an essay on comics and as a graphic narration, loved the way MacCloud used the icons to show how to add a new layer of meaning to comic, it may be not a prophetic work on how markets and comic industry are developing, but his overall look at technology, authors, public an editors can be easily aprehended and applied to the contemporary comic world to draw new conclusions, buyt above all, its a calling to expand the boundaries of sequential art, and in that its completely successful.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Chloe A-L

    I'm sure this book would have been an absolute revelation, if I'd been a comics person in 2000 when it came out. Alas, I was 5, and reading it in 2017 (with a lot of comics theory reading under my belt already) is just kind of boring. At best a semi-interesting historical artifact, at worst a series of arguments against comics trends that have been fixed or are very much in the public eye already, at worst a boring economics rant. If you're also reading it for the first time, unless you REALLY l I'm sure this book would have been an absolute revelation, if I'd been a comics person in 2000 when it came out. Alas, I was 5, and reading it in 2017 (with a lot of comics theory reading under my belt already) is just kind of boring. At best a semi-interesting historical artifact, at worst a series of arguments against comics trends that have been fixed or are very much in the public eye already, at worst a boring economics rant. If you're also reading it for the first time, unless you REALLY like now outdated economic theories, just read the first part.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Lambert-Maberly

    Interesting, but dated, but interesting because of that--he was certainly ahead of many in imagining ways computers/the internet could change things. Though as deftly handled, the subject of this book wasn't nearly as compelling to me as his earlier Understanding Comics, and I would probably have survived nicely if I'd never read this one--but would really regret not having read the first. (Note: 5 stars = amazing, wonderful, 4 = very good book, 3 = decent read, 2 = disappointing, 1 = awful, just Interesting, but dated, but interesting because of that--he was certainly ahead of many in imagining ways computers/the internet could change things. Though as deftly handled, the subject of this book wasn't nearly as compelling to me as his earlier Understanding Comics, and I would probably have survived nicely if I'd never read this one--but would really regret not having read the first. (Note: 5 stars = amazing, wonderful, 4 = very good book, 3 = decent read, 2 = disappointing, 1 = awful, just awful. I'm fairly good at picking for myself so end up with a lot of 4s).

  25. 4 out of 5

    Julia

    I read "Understanding Comics" in grad school and loved it so I'm not sure how I didn't continue down the McCloud path. I stumbled across this somehow while doing research at work and had to read it. It's impressive how clearly McCloud envisioned the future of comics and he does a great job making the case for the format and all that it's capable of. This was published in 2000 so a lot of the information is dated, but at the same time it's valuable information presented clearly. If you want to gai I read "Understanding Comics" in grad school and loved it so I'm not sure how I didn't continue down the McCloud path. I stumbled across this somehow while doing research at work and had to read it. It's impressive how clearly McCloud envisioned the future of comics and he does a great job making the case for the format and all that it's capable of. This was published in 2000 so a lot of the information is dated, but at the same time it's valuable information presented clearly. If you want to gain a real appreciation for the craft and value of comics, McCloud is the one to guide you.

  26. 5 out of 5

    zilby

    This was extremely dated by the time I read this - a lot of the exciting new directions he theorizes about have already been done, or were tried and didn't catch on. So it was sort of interesting in that sense, he'd discuss an "exciting potential idea," and I'd think "mm yeah I saw something like that once and it was real annoying." Understanding Comics and Making Comics are much more worth your time, I wouldn't bother with this unless you have a very specific interest in how people were thinkin This was extremely dated by the time I read this - a lot of the exciting new directions he theorizes about have already been done, or were tried and didn't catch on. So it was sort of interesting in that sense, he'd discuss an "exciting potential idea," and I'd think "mm yeah I saw something like that once and it was real annoying." Understanding Comics and Making Comics are much more worth your time, I wouldn't bother with this unless you have a very specific interest in how people were thinking about "reinventing" comics in 2000.

  27. 4 out of 5

    --

    As others have noted, "Reinventing Comics" is more a product of its time (and thus less timeless) than McCloud's "Understanding Comics." While there were many points where I was impressed by McCloud's forethought, there are so many interesting aspects of modern comics and e-commerce (Patreon, composition-as-product via Twitch's Creative streams, the advent of comic book movies and the notion of the "cinematic universe") that I was left wanting an updated edition more than anything else.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tobin Elliott

    As enlightening and ground-breaking as Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art was, I'm actually shocked that this one is a DNF for me. I love the concept of the book, but damn, it's drrrrrrryyyyyyy. I may come back to this some day, but for now, nope. As enlightening and ground-breaking as Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art was, I'm actually shocked that this one is a DNF for me. I love the concept of the book, but damn, it's drrrrrrryyyyyyy. I may come back to this some day, but for now, nope.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Josh Hamon

    “It’s time for comics to finally grow up and find the art beneath the craft” “The Great American Graphic Novel hasn’t been written yet. If you want to dive deep into the meta of comics, this is the series to get you started. 📖 #2 is no slouch, even though it was written in the year 2000, it astutely sees the writing on the (digital) wall.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Matt Sautman

    The second half of this book's focus on technology is dated but McCloud does a superb job exploring comics in the first part through a series of twelve revolutions that contextualizes comics as part of a larger culture that continues to resonate in 2020.

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