It’s been a while since I made my way into a classroom that my honey didn’t teach in. Josh and I headed eastward to the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg to see Scott McCloud, of Making Comics fame. He was introduced as the leading comic theorist, and I have to agree.

While I have heard on and off about McCloud for a couple years, I never checked out his books (there are three) since A) I am a comic reader, not a creator; and B) I’ve kind of had my own stuff going on: ie, all things David. However, Josh got a hold of McCloud’s first novel, then devoured his second with doubled fervor, and has spent our coffee sessions since September interspersing my workflow with one amazing discover after another from the third book.

If you are unfamiliar, he writes graphic novels that explore the ins and outs of… well, graphic novels. It’s FASCINATING. Some of his insights are common sense things that I had just never thought about, others are crazy mind blowers that just rock my world. He outlines the common denominators between all comics, regardless of intent or origin. He also makes a play for comics being a legitimate artform — not hard in other places, but a little tougher in the US.

His insights are applicable to anything that could possibly be related to communication in any visual medium, and would be invaluable to anyone who has something they want to say.

Check it out his three works on the theory of comics:
Understanding Comics
Reinventing Comics
Making Comics