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Scott McCloud @ Dartmouth

Tonight I drove up to Dartmouth to see Scott McCloud speak about his theories about comics as a medium and an artform, as outlined in his books on the subject. A few years ago I picked up Understanding Comics and read it. It was very enjoyable and inspiring, and made me notice a lot more about the comics and graphic novels I read. Then a month or so ago I bought his new book, Making Comics, and was totally blown away. It's such an engrossing read, full of thought-provoking ideas and great exercises. After Watchmen, it's probably one of the most inspiring comic-related books I've come across.

His presentation was a lot of fun — fast-paced, interesting, and very funny. It was based on the same ideas that Making Comics used, but he focused a lot more on digital comics. It sort of struck me as covering a lot of the material that might end up in the mythical chapter five-and-a-half that the book and his website have been promising to readers but which hasn't shown up yet (probably due to his very hectic tour schedule).

I sat next to a group of professors from The Center for Cartoon Studies (a comic-focused school in White River Junction, VT) who were friendly and funny. Apparently their students made up a large portion of the audience, which was probably over a hundred people. The room was packed. All the seats were full, and people were standing against the walls and sitting on the floor too.

After the presentation, there was a reception in another room, and Scott sold and signed copies of his books. I waited until the line was mostly dissipated (it was a small room, and the line was pretty tightly packed for a while) and then got in line with my copies of his books.

Scott McCloud

It seemed like everyone in line was friendly, joking and laughing and discussing interesting comics-related stuff. I got up to the front of the line and was about to say, "Hi, I'm Ryan Freebern," when Scott said, "That's a great shirt. Vera Broscol, right?" and I stuttered out a "Yeah, thanks," and went on to awkwardly stammer something about how, hey, I found a typo on page 125 of Making Comics, and, uh, I already told you in the LiveJournal community, but, uh... and then he signed my books for me and I told him it was the first signing I'd ever been to. I'm sure I sounded like a nervous little fan-kid, and I felt like a total dork.

Which I guess I am, but I can usually hide it in social situations.

Then I told Winter I was enjoying her fantasy story and she said the next chapter would be posted tomorrow, and I told Sky I was impressed with her video editing skills on the Winterviews, which was the total truth, because she's made them look really professional and neat.

So if you're at all interested in comics theory and you get a chance to see Scott speak, it's definitely worth it. It's a great presetntation and he and his family are friendly and funny. Just don't babble like an idiot if you can help it!


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Oct. 21st, 2006 03:40 am (UTC)
They won't get out to my part of the country for nearly a year, but I already know I'll babble like an idiot if I get to see them.

I really want to meet Ivy, her LJ posts crack me up. Sky intimidates me, even over the internet.

Thanx for the inside look at the Dartmouth lecture!
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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