Scott McCloud is my hero

Making Comics by Scott McCloud

Scott McCloud is at it again. His new book, Making Comics, is a brilliant thing. It’s as insightful as the first book in the series, but tempered with a kind of wisdom and reflection that matches his updated avatar’s greying temples. As a CG animator, I don’t make comics, and I don’t even draw very well. But there are so many parallels between comics and movies that it’s impossible not to learn from this book.

I love the little moments of self-effacing humor, like the two panels above. His geek is showing, and he’s not ashamed. And why should he be? Diagrams freaking rock!

My favorite part so far is the section on facial expressions. This is material that any working animator should know already, and it’s all been covered quite deeply by Gary Faigin and Paul Ekman. But McCloud has found a way to explain these ideas that’s so vivid and concise that you’ll come away more enlightened even if you’ve already read those other books.

(A related note: a Flash hacker named Pete Charlton has whipped up a really fun visualization that compares McCloud’s beautiful two-emotion combo faces against the relatively unnatural expressions that happen when you try to paste the eyes of one expression onto the mouth of another. We had some really fun discussions about all this after I read about his applet on BoingBoing.)