Scott McCloud at MCAD

Photo of Scott McCloud in front of a projected computer image

I spent last evening enjoying a talk by Scott McCloud at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. He did a similar talk there two years ago which I also attended.

McCloud is a comic book artist and writer best known for his book Understanding Comics. He talked mainly about online comics, a phenomenon he has been involved in since the beginning.

The audience was mainly hard-core comics people, so it felt a little weird for me to be there. When I was young, I read Mad magazine and wanted to be a cartoonist for a while. But I’ve only been into comic books sporadically.

McCloud’s book caught my attention a few years ago and I would put it on my short list of most inspiring and thought-provoking books. The reason is that I just like the way McCloud thinks.

He has a knack for getting beyond conventional thinking, drawing out fundamental principles and presenting them lucidly. It’s an old cliché to say someone “thinks outside the box.” In McCloud’s case, I wonder if he even remembers what the inside of the box looks like.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun. As with the last time I saw him talk, he had his family with him. And, once again, he did a dramatic reading of Monkey Town at the urging of his two young daughters (only this time he didn’t blow out any of the speakers in the auditorium). And I got him to sign my copy of Understanding Comics. Pretty cool.