Saturday, July 14, 2007

Friday's signings

I missed the Peter Coogan lecture because I was waiting on a maintenance guy to show up and fix my dishwasher, but the McCloud signing and Kindt signing were both a fun time.

McCloud's Q&A session lasted about an hour and had some pretty interesting moments. He spent some time explaining the four different schools of thought he described in Making Comics, which is probably the best part of the book. It not only can apply to comics creators AND fans, but really it can be apply to any kind of artistic endeavour. In any medium there will be artists who simply see the medium as a means of expressing themselves, and those artists will always be in direct contrast with those who play with the format and experiment with the medium above all else.

There was also a great part of the lecture in which someone challenged his notion that single-panel cartoons (a la Family Circus or Far Side) aren't comics. I thought her argument was interesting because it's something I thought myself during a discussion at ICAF last year: that single panel cartoons have implied transitions with the moments before or after them that lie in the reader's imagination. McCloud still disagreed but I think it's a reasonable argument, especially considering it utilizes the concept of closure, of the reader allowing the axe to fall, that McCloud himself explains in Understanding Comics. I would REALLY love to write a paper on this idea, but for now it's going on the back burner.

I've got two videos available from the Scott McCloud lecture, neither of which is particularly insightful but both of which are kind of interesting. The first involves McCloud expressing his love for Scott Pilgrim:

And the second involves McCloud extolling the virtues of the old comic strip Nancy:

And here's a link to the first picture I took of me and Scott McCloud after the lecture. From that link, if you click "next" you can look at three more pictures from the Matt Kindt signing.