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Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an Art Form
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Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an Art Form (The Comic Books #2)

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3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  2,173 ratings  ·  107 reviews
In 1993, Scott McCloud tore down the wall between high and low culture with the acclaimed international hit Understanding Comics, a massive comic book that explored the inner workings of the worlds most misunderstood art form. Now, McCloud takes comics to te next leavle, charting twelve different revolutions in how comics are created, read, and preceived today, and how the ...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published July 25th 2000 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published January 1st 2000)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kathleen
Read through it in the library today.
This is the first book I'm reading from Scott McCloud, however I hope to read more.

In the first chapter, he outlines reasons why he's worried about the comics industry, but it's very clear he's writing from the 90's. It really had me thinking, every other sentence, I wonder what the state of affairs is now and whether he's still concerned. He described a kind of "bubble" of comics-creation that inflated and then burst in the 90's. I work in the games industry
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Jay Daze
Karl Marx was a great describer of capitalism, but turned out to be pretty terrible at forecasting its fall. It is a lot harder to predict or influence the future direction of something than it is to describe it. McCloud gives it a good college try, though from 2011 Reinventing Comics has aged a lot more than Understanding Comics.

I am impressed that McCloud for the most part doesn't fall on his face, though as I read it I was constantly wondering how he is reacting to the state of comics NOW -
...more
Zach Danielson
This sequel to Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art is more fragmented, kinda preachy, and less interesting.

Part 1 of his manifesto for the reinvention of comics focuses on their public perception, industry missteps, and the need for more diversity (in all senses of the word). Solid stuff.

Part 2 focuses on the digital revolution and its implications for comics' creation, distribution, and format. He ends with some lofty talk about comics breaking free of the printed page. His idea of the infi
...more
Ruth-Ann
After Understanding Comics, this was disappointing. The economic analysis did make sense and I'm fully on board with the need for both authorial and genre diversity. However the long-winded exposition about comics' potential as an art form, especially in the digital realm, far exceeded my interest in the subject. Also, McCloud's prose style (long, declarative, overly dramatic sentences bisected by "but" or "and") grew very tiresome after 200 pages and the second half of the book needed a severe ...more
Michael Scott
I had very high expectations for Scott McCloud's Reinventing Comics. As a sequel to Understanding Comics (1993), Reinventing follows the evolution of the comics industry. Unfortunately, there has been little revolution, which is why this book fails to deliver.

The most disappointing aspect regarding Reinventing Comics is that, to compensate for the lack of material, Scott has had to spend half of the book on other topics, all related to the digital revolution (using computers and the Internet to
...more
Ted Henkle
I should have read this book 15 years ago.

Reinventing Comics was Scott McCloud's call-to-arms for revolutionizing comics, primarily by way of the internet.

While some of the author's then-revolutionary ideas seem dated now, I still found the book, written in comic book format, interesting from an historical and business perspective (for printed comics).

Even though the title is called Reinventing Comics, the first half of the book actually looks at the past. Mr. McCloud charts the rise and fall o
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Erin Maher
If I could invite one person, living or dead, to a dinner party, Scott McCloud might not be my final choice, but he'd definitely be in contention. Partially this is because, while so many of my personal heroes would probably be awkward or disappointing (or, lbr, I would be awkward and disappointing around them), I don't think Scott McCloud would be. His work is so thoughtful, so precise, so exciting, so informed. I would just love to hear what he has to say about pretty much anything. Especially ...more
Desktop Metaphor
Other than his 3D Lincoln comic this is probably Scott McCloud's most overlooked comic, but unlike the Lincoln thing this book deserves your attention. Yeah, even today, still. Many people have claimed that this book was dated when it hit the shelves and is certainly irrelevant now, a historical curiosity at best. That's partly true. McCloud's cry for more diversity in subject and viewpoint in comics is as relevant as ever (the dated caricatures of 90's diversity notwithstanding,) and his histor ...more
Liz
Like McCloud's earlier Understanding Comics, this book is a must-read for anyone who plans to work in the graphic novel genre. Though it's now eight years from its publication date, its predictive power and perspective remain right on target(and the presentation style keeps it a fascinating read). Find a copy and enjoy it!
Sierra Randolph
May 01, 2015 Sierra Randolph rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: scholars, knowledge gluttons, art enthusiasts, comic enthusiasts, authors, artists, ANYONE
Absolutely one of my favorite books. I have read Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics, and Making Comics multiple times each. Together, they have given me so much understanding regarding storytelling, perception of art, and comics as a medium.

For this book specifically: this is a wonderful followup to the first book. It stands alone as its own exploration, however. It is equal parts "wow the Internet and computers are really changing the comics form" and "wow for all that the Internet and co
...more
Olivia
This took me longer to read than expected. I think that says a lot about the subject matter. While the first McCloud book felt like an art history text, this felt like straight up critical literature in the first half and business and economics in the last. That being said, I much preferred the first half. This was written in 2000 and so many of the ideas he puts forth are being talked about and addressed in comics now (gender, race, genre, literature, etc.). It was enjoyable to read what had be ...more
Cori
Reinventing Comics builds on McCloud's earlier work and starts investigating the ways in which technology is changing the way people produce, distribute, and consume comics and sequential art. McCloud also examines the ways in which the industry needs to change in terms of incorporating diverse perspectives on the writing and reading sides of the equation.

While not as fundamentally theory-oriented as the earlier Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics offers new perspectives on the way the fiel
...more
Hannah  Messler
Well, I for one certainly was not thinking about the Internet in 2000, so all the stuff in here you'll be warned is dated was pretty fascinating to me.
He's such a good man, and thorough.
Nyx
Before you read this book read McClouds "Understanding Comics"! This books isn't like the first where many things were "just" explained but is more like a preliminary result of the status of comics. (Not only the status in sociaty but in its evolution itself!) His thoughts on the different 'revolutions of comics' are inspiring to look more into the different ways comics are taking. It's a good book to start a wider debate where the potential of comics lies. Though it must be said as much as all ...more
Brandon James
Reinventing Comics is a great successor to Scott McCloud's first graphic novel, Understanding Comics. Published in 2000, it's definitely showing its age. While dated, the sections on emerging technologies and digital publishing had a lot of great ideas for its time and even predicted a lot of future electronics such as the iPad and in a way, some of the more popular comic book apps available for the current crop of tablets. This series has been very enjoyable and really makes me want to read mor ...more
Aaron
Understanding Comics is, for all its flaws, perhaps the single book that's had the greatest influence on me. Without that book I might not be a comics scholar. Reinventing Comics is not nearly as life-changing. The arguments in the first half of the book may have been controversial in 2000 but are no longer so. The predictions in the second half have mostly not come to pass. Also, this book uses the comics medium much less successfully than Understanding Comics did. Most of the time, the images ...more
BigJohn
Scott McCloud's second book in his trifecta series that deconstructs comics as sequential art changes focus a bit from the first. In Understanding Comics, McCloud breaks down our understanding of sequential art and how the medium of storytelling is ingrained into our subconscious so deeply that we, as readers, barely even realize it. It's a fascinating starting point for gaining a deeper understanding of comic books as an art form.

Reinventing Comics, on the other hand, takes a big step back from
...more
Joshum Harpy
Though certainly not as good as the first book in the series, this was consistently entertaining and a nice time capsule for the effects of digital technology had/is having/will have on comic books in the next few years. There is a lot of time spent in this book speculating about the future of comic books, the internet and the relationship between the two, as well as the creator/audience relationship to each other through the development of the internet. A lot of it is impressively on point cons ...more
Chip'sBookBinge
Where Understanding Comics has a timelessness that will never fade, Reinventing Comics clearly is dated given the fact that it came out in 2000. With his first book, the main objective was to teach you how and why comics works as a medium as well as the historical significance. But for Reinventing Comics, it's all about giving us the reader a theortical look at the future of comic books regarding everything from computers to the internet to distribution, etc...

This book is Scott's manifesto of w
...more
Shark
Oct 16, 2008 Shark rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: aspiring comics professionals of any sort
This followup to McCloud's first book, "Understanding Comics," is a good read but, as other reviewers have mentioned, not as mind-blowing as the former.

The first few chapters really grabbed my attention. I flew through the first half of the book in almost one sitting because I found McCloud commenting on exact issues I had recently been thinking about (teaching the world to take comics more seriously as an art form, how art helps the reader see the world more empathetically, etc.) However, the c
...more
E. Chris
While I love Scott McCloud's other books on comics theory, I just couldn't get down with the tired "print is dead or dying" rhetoric. While in its day (the book was published in 2000) the book was pretty good at predicting many of the trends we see today with the increase of digitally distributed comics, this new distribution model certainly hasn't killed the print comic, in my opinion. If anything, it has opened up a world of new comic artists who now realize that there are other means of distr ...more
Osvaldo
This was no Understanding Comics, but it wasn't meant to be and honestly, what could ever compare to that seminal work in comics' theory?

The first half is a fun read, but the second half (which many folks on here have pointed out) feels dated in its attempt to prognosticate about the future of digital comics. I found it hard to read and stay interested in. Perhaps in another 20 years enough time will have passed to make it an interesting artifact of the past in comparison to the true trajectory
...more
Heather Miller
I enjoyed this one and found it to be an informative book on the comics industry, though I didn't enjoy it the way I did Understanding Comics by the same author. The first half of the book looks at the structure of the comics industry and how complex or simple it can be to get the ideas from creator to reader. Having read a lot of recent pieces about the ongoing evolution of the industry, I was largely familiar with many of the ideas, but it was still interesting to see those ideas in greater de ...more
Daniel
The other two of McCloud's books written in this format are so good that it's difficult to criticize this one. (This is the second of the three.)

Most of it is a simple matter of the book dating itself, but that's pretty significant. It focuses on the business and industry of comics, and there's a lot of speculation on the "future" of comics. Some of what's covered in the book ended up seeming moot as comics went in other directions. A lot of it ended up being pretty accurate. And the industry cy
...more
Dustin Hanvey
McCloud is something of a genius. Though his first book will likely remain his masterpiece, this one stands tall as well, not only explaining the ways in which comics as a method of art delivery can survive, but also how new technology will enable and alter the works. He presents a better explanation of the internet than Thomas Friedman while not giving in to the goblins of globalization in the way Friedman does in much of his work. Recommend to all lovers of art and where it will go in the 21st ...more
Eleanore M.
Two and a half stars, really. Unfortunately, this book has not aged well. I had difficulty finishing it at all because it is, more or less, a history book, a snapshot of the state of comics in 2000. Not that it isn't interesting as such, but most of what McCloud is talking about is no longer relevant - especially the digital comic discussions.
Gideon Burton
McCloud's comic book about comic books proves his claim that this form has more potential and respectability as a serious medium than we may at first give it credit for. He proves that visual modes of argumentation in a sequential format can be compelling. The last half of the book, about how comics will evolve in the digital age, has been amazingly prescient (the book was published 12 years ago in 2000). He lays out the transformations of culture due to computers so well that it is soon clear t ...more
Diana Welsch
I've had this book checked out for probably a year, and I just now finished it. This was really cleverly done: a non-fiction comic book (graphic non-novel?) about the future of comics.

It was fascinating, insightful, and well-executed. I gave it four stars out of five because there is a long-ish segment at the end about computers and the future of comics, and this was written in 1999, and was allllmost pre-Webcomics. The author was totally aware that this would become dated quickly, so I can't f
...more
Gregg
In the follow-up to hs highly-acclaimed Understanding Comics, Scott McCloud takes stock of the comics industry at the turn of the century. He evaluates the opportunities for gender and race input into the medium and heavily investigates the meaning of digital distribution. He then proceeds to break down his definition of comics and rebuild it in light of the new business opportunities provided by the internet.

While not as groundbreaking as his original work, Reinventing Comics sets McCloud as th
...more
Men D.
This book supplements but does not update Understanding Comics. It considers broader questions about the industry (how big commerical comics houses squeeze out creativity, how publishing generally is dying, how minorities are not represented in comics' readership and authorship, etc.). As with the first book, the author's strength here is his skill in taxonomy, which allows him to break down a murky subject into discrete themes (he calls these twelve "revolutions"). Only three stars, not because ...more
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Scott McCloud (born Scott McLeod) is an American cartoonist and theorist on comics as a distinct literary and artistic medium.
More about Scott McCloud...

Other Books in the Series

The Comic Books (3 books)
  • Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art
  • Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels
Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels The Sculptor Zot!: The Complete Black-and-White Collection: 1987-1991 Zot! Book 1

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