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What The Hell Is Wrong With Rhode Island?

No offense, Paul, but what’s up with the state of Rhode Island? And Connecticut? Seriously, check out this graphic, which shows the progress of the McCloud 50 States Tour. Now check out the Tour schedule, which finishes its Northeast Sector leg with three dates in Pennsylvania, and nothing in the aforementioned RI or CT (although apparently there is a thing for Delaware later in the Tour — they couldn’t get scheduled before the end of the year). If you know a group, store, company, school, whatever that would be a good sponsor for the Cavalcade O’ Fun, get ‘em in gear … there’s still time to get a booking arranged. If not, McCloud’s threatened to do a guerilla event at a Denny’s, and I think we all know that can only end in tears (and a bucket).

In any event, the Tour rolled into NYU last night, with a sellout crowd filling the auditorium; Raina Telgemeier, Dave Roman, Kyle Baker, Meredith Gran, Chris Hastings, and other [web]comics luminaries were in attendance.

The presentation itself was a highly-entertaining 50 minutes, covering the common thesis of McCloud’s books (that you can write with pictures), the five main areas of the new book (comics is a series of choices: of moment, frame, image, word, and flow), and how he came to the ideas of digital comics that caused such upset in the Reinventing days.


Along the way, you get Scott’s life story in five minutes, the evolution of the Tribes based on his immediate neighbors as a lad, and the need for a durable mutation in comics to take them into their next form (with the Tribes seeking different paths towards that mutation). You get a great deal about how comics are a unique medium that address things as no other medium can (example: time — in movies or TV, it’s always now; comics puts the past and future always in front of us).

Plus porn [SFW -- it's art, dammit!]. McCloud said that the image was sent to him by Neil Gaiman, and it’s possibly the world’s first instance of a word balloon: the caption reads “The girl is pretty”, and coming from the man’s mouth are the words “Hold still”.

Sky McCloud had a very entertaining 10 minutes on the tour — an informative, nicely structure narrative that showed a frightening level of awareness of media and the use symbols to get ideas across (throw in a few more words, and it would be comics). The Q&A brought up a couple of cool points, including:

  • Chapter 5½ is done! The pages are finished, they just need to be formatted and uploaded.
  • Pithy quote #1, in response to question about comics on mobile devices: “Mobile’s the wildcard, definitely. I’m not going to gainsay it or claim it’s not going to happen, but I like a big canvas with a small middleman and mobile gives us the possibility of a small canvas with a really big middleman.”
  • Winterview #3 (with R Stevens) is edited and submitted to CBR; it will include the reveal of which questions Jeff Rowland answered with lies in Winterview #2. Keep your eyes open for the link. Also, the next Winterview was taped yesterday, with special guest Kyle Baker.
  • Pithy quote #2, on where comics are heading: “Right now, manga, and the web, and graphic novels are completely changing the landscape. Any one of them could have been a revolution by itself, but to have all three of them hit together? What an effect they’re going to have on comics in 10 to 15 years.”
  • Speaking of McCloud’s idea of the nonfiction potential of comics, it was pointed out that Studio Musuem Harlem has a brand new show up entitled Africa Comics, a comprehensive look at comics from across the continent, and across a wide range of topics. Check it out.

Modest guy that he is, McCloud thought that his presentation was off its stride, but from the cheap seats it looked pretty damn solid. There are not many better ways to spend a Monday evening, and if you get the chance to catch the Tour (next dates: Philadelphia, Greensburg, and Pittsburgh), make every effort to do so. You meet the most pleasant people at these things.

What is Wrong With Rhode Island?

A.) Too Small
B.) Scenery equal to or less than New Jersey
C.) Too Small
D.) Family Guy

Take your pick!

Hey, no dissin’ New Jerey! there’s planty of pleasant scenery here, once you get off the Turnpike! (and let it be known that I’m a transplant, not a native, sticking up for my adopted state.)

You can’t fool me, Helen. I’ve seen the opening credits of “The Sopranos”.

Providence is the only city on the east coast where you can make art and afford to live without doing a job that makes you feel really dirty.

Unless you like that sort of thing.

Seriously, has McCloud talked to RISD?

No Connecticut?!? Just because we’re the rest stop between New York City and Boston. Fine McCloud. Keep your damn book. I mean it. Dont try emailing me offering a free copy. I won’t have it.

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