Above: Cartoonist Scott McCloud and his familiar cartoon avatar.
Renowned cartoonist and comics theorist Scott McCloud will be visiting New Zealand in February as a guest speaker at Webstock - a five day event focused on web design, taking place in Wellington, 14-18th of February 2011.
McCloud is of coarse best know for his landmark publication, Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art (1993). Told in comics form, it explores the language and vocabulary of the comics medium, and has become a standard textbook on narrative storytelling for publishing and web design.
He followed this with Reinventing Comics (2000), a challenging (and forward thinking) manifesto on potential ways to reinvigorate and transform the then ailing comics industry. That financial and creative drought passed, but a decade later his compelling arguments for the potential and growth of digital webcomics, multimedia storytelling and creator/audience diversity are more compelling than ever, and deserved to be revisited.
More recently he returned to the basics, with a guide dedicated to the building blocks of comics creation, Making Comics (2006). Aimed at educating and guiding budding cartoonists through the act of creating their own comics, McCloud took his teachings one step further, taking to the road with his family for an extended book tour/lecture series across all fifty US states. He's also a highly sought after lecturer on digital media, and in 2008 he produced an online comic book guide to Google's web browser, Google Chrome.
He's currently working on a new graphic novel with the working title 'The Sculptor' to be published in the not too distant future by First Second.
While his lecture engagement is in Wellington, he's hinted on his WEBSITE that an unofficial trip to Auckland may also be on the cards to visit fellow Eisner Award Winning cartoonist Dylan Horrocks. McCloud posted in his comments section: "Auckland is *very* likely on the weekend. If there’s any sort of get together, it may be of a more informal nature to avoid competing with Webstock, but we’ll definitely let everyone know in the coming weeks as plans firm up".
So if you're in Wellington and would like to see McCloud speak at Webstock, you can register HERE, and I'll keep an ear to the ground for any further updates on Scott's visit to the earth's end in the new year!