Online Comics, Dead In The Water Or The Calm Before The Storm?

I have been enthusiastically supporting Scott McCloud and his books since the publication of the Understanding Comics in the early nineties. (The book has a clean five-star rating on Amazon through forty reviews!)

The "sequel", Reinventing Comics, is no less brilliant, talking about many things, not the least of which is the subject of digital production and delivery of comics, and what it takes for web comics to become successful. (Better screens, portable reading machines, a re-thinking of layout, and micropayments on the web, just to mention some of the more important issues.)

This is the subject of an interview with Scott McCloud on

Quotes from the article:

Finding an audience online
"There are probably more great cartoonists working today than at any time in comics’ history," he explains. "The problem now is seeing to it that they find an audience. There, I think the web is going to be a great help."

After explaining the inner workings of printed comics in his first book, McCloud took on the task of explaining in his second book how comics can be created and delivered digitally. [...]

Birth of an art form
Whereas some artists see web comics as mere onscreen versions of their printed counterparts, McCloud takes the idea even further. He envisions an infinite canvas on the web, with the reader’s monitor a window looking at a vast digital landscape.

"I think the great opportunity for digital comics is breaking out of the page," he says. "Taking those 3,000 panels and laying them out at once in a huge landscape."

I will be short about this: If you ever cared about comics in any way, shape, or form, or even if you care in general about visual artistic expression, at least go read this article, and preferably buy his books too. I donit think you have to have read Understanding Comics to get a lot out of Reinventing Comics, but you wonit regret getting them both.

Yours, Eolake

Eolake Stobblehouse is a contributing editor to the Mac Observer, specializing in cultural matters, and comes to us by way of MacCreator. Send him your comments and tips.