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)

3.79 of 5 stars 3.79  ·  rating details  ·  1,740 ratings  ·  91 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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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...more
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
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!
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
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
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.
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
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
Jamie
I didn't like "Reinventing Comics" as much as "Understanding Comics" because while the latter talked about general issues of perception and symbology, the former was more specific to the comic industry and comic medium. Still, it was informative and many of the ideas that Scott posits about the digital reinvention of the industry seem to have come to fruition.

What I liked most about "Reinventing Comics" is learning about the history of comics and some of the more influential works, including Ar...more
Andrea
Jul 16, 2007 Andrea rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: comic enthusiasts
Shelves: manga-comics
This would have been a much more interesting book when it was written, 7-8 years ago. Even now, the history of American comics and the process of artist -> publisher -> reader was interesting to read about. But the whole last chapter, about how "the web will revolutionize comics!" was kind of obsolete, because it's already true in a lot of ways. Self-publishing on the internet, whether for free or for money or supported by merchandise/donations is pretty big already. Also, I was hoping he'...more
Ryan McArthur
I found this book quite pessimistic about the American comics industry. it was written in 2001 or so, and though I've found that the local comic shop is still dominated by superhero comics, its possible to make a decent living even if you can't draw ('m looking at you, xkcd and dinosaur comics), or if you release comics online and then publish them (eg Girl Genius) even if they aren't superhero comics.
Having said that, the focus of the American comics industry has been pretty narrow for a whil...more
Cherish
Another great read. It was interesting to read much more of the history of comics as well as the ins and outs of the industry through the eyes of Scott McCloud. I found this very inspiring and it's definitely something that I would recommend.
Paul
The only reason this didn't get the 5 stars of its predecessor is that it dates itself - consciously so, but the effect is the same. It specifically talks about comics in the here and now - of the year 2000. It talks about the way computers have begun to influence comics - but at only 8 years old, much of it is already outdated, from predictions (come true or otherwise) to referencing the current state of computers and comics, both of which have changed rather dramatically in the interim. Still...more
Greg Allan Holcomb
This book horked my cheese. I thought after the insight of Understanding Comics that even though I have contempt for digital comics that I might be able to learn something here. I might've but I was too upset.

If you are into digital comics this might be okay.
If you are not into digital comics and like real comics done on paper and read on paper and that are actually pieces of art then skip this and go onto McCloud's third book on Understanding Comics.

So the correct order is:
1) Understanding Com...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
Andrew Pashinin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
RJ
Loved the first section as a comics creator - not sure if others will get the same enjoyment out of it, and it's definitely not universal in the way that Understanding Comics is. Most impressive in the second section is McCloud's ability to talk about the internet and technology in 2000 without dating himself (ok, saying "Macromedia's Flash has potential" elicited a giggle). One of the strengths of this book, in general, is knowing and navigating its own limits, which unfortunately, are inherent...more
Samuel Snoek-Brown
Not quite as tightly composed or as rich as his first book--and he is the first to admit so, in his introduction--this book is nevertheless a necessary and almost-equally brilliant expansion on the possibilities of graphic narrative. What is most surprising, though, is that McCloud is so aware of his medium and so quick to grasp the new directions graphic narrative can head and have gone in a digital age that recents books on this subject are still echoing his ideas--a decade after he wrote this...more
Mooch
Sure this account on what the challenges of the comic medium are in the light of the new media is a little dated. No wonder with technology changing so fast! Nevertheless, I found McCloud's account of the industry insightful and thoughtprovoking. Especially of interest to me was his idea that minority groups should play a larger role, presenting their issues to a larger audience and increasing their visibility via the comic medium. An informative and fun non-fictional graphic novel - how rare is...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...
Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels Zot!: The Complete Black-and-White Collection: 1987-1991 Zot! Book 1 Zot! Book 2

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