This morning I had the great pleasure of attending Scott McCloud‘s talk on Visual Communication as part of Rowan University’s Presidential Lecture Series. McCloud is a renowned comic artist and theorist whose book, Understanding Comics, I have asked students to read (in part or whole) for many years. His 2005 TED talk is outstanding. He was similarly engaging and thought-provoking today. I found myself nodding in agreement with many of his ideas about the power of the image in composing.
For me, the best parts of his talk were when he showcased new comics who are pushing the boundaries of what it means to compose. One that hit home the most was a vertical comic he read in full: “Like an Artist” by the Norwegian artists, Ida Eva Margrethe Neverdahl, which she posted to DeviantArt under the pseudonym, JellyVampire. The message (which is essentially on the metaphor “think outside the box”—itself a part of the IDEAS ARE CONTAINERS metaphor) gains a powerful new importance and urgency when presented as Ida Eva does.
It makes me want to get hold of a print copy, hang it in my son’s room, and tell him, “Hydan, use this comic’s message to guide your life. Bloom like an artist in all you endeavor to do. You’ll always have something new and exciting to do, to say, and to share.”
Here it is in full: