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on 31 October 2000
Scott McCloud was always going to have a hard time topping the inspired, revolutionary 'Understanding Comics', and it is perhaps no surprise that this follow-up does not entirely manage to do so. It's certainly highly readable, with McCloud's likeable approach and unquestionable intelligence coming through on every page. But whereas 'Understanding' was a cohesive, tightly-structured study of the language, conventions and underpinnings of comics, 'Reinventing' fails perhaps because in the end it attempts to do too much. The best sections, containing McCloud's theorising on the potential for various forms of digital / online comics, work so well because of the author's infectious enthusiasm for his subject. Other topics, such as a discussion of the woes of the current comics industry and the need for wider cultural representation in the medium, lack this enthusiasm and suffer for it. I suppose the best way to sum it up is to say that whereas 'Understanding' not only fired me up with the desire to create comics but also gave me concrete tools and things to think about, 'Reinventing' did moderately well at the first aspect, but did little regarding the second. Certainly worth reading if you're interested in the future possibilites for the medium, but not the classic it's predecessor was.
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I am a big fan of Scott McCloud. 'Understanding Comics' Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art should be, if it isn't already; a standard textbook for design students on how comics work and how to make the best use of the media. You can also find McCloud on TED talks giving an inspiring lecture that hints on the book reviewed here. Sadly this book falls short on that first book.

To be fair, it was published sometime ago (2007) and tech has moved on enormously in that time (Written before the smartphone and the tablet junior!) and book that theorises on tech is going to take a beating and McCloud certainly got a lot right in quite a few places. But looking from 2014, it's sadly in need of a serious re-write on the tech side. As for the other material it feels like a sequel. This is the stuff that didn't make it to Understanding comics, or it expands on material there. It fills some holes and McCloud's enthusiasm come across as always. But after stripping out the outdated technology there's quite a lot gone and I think that at the end of the day perhaps re-inventing comics needs to be re-invented itself.

Should be three stars, but four because he's still a giant.
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on 22 December 2009
There is not much more that can be said.
I learnt a lot from McLoud's books and this one is as good as the others: 5 STARS, from first to last page.
Some had already tried (hardly) to copy this amazing style, with no success - they need to study a lot to get close.
If you love comics (or sequential art, if you prefer), if you know nothing about, if you know a lot, if you are not in any of these categories, whatever is the case, BUY and READ this book. You'll love it for the learning it provides and for the simple amusement of reading it.
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Reinventing Comics has one strength that makes it timeless: Scott McCloud systematically explains what was wrong with the comics that were created through the end of the 20th century. When he switches over to what's needed to overcome those issues, the book becomes more idealistic than practical in many areas. The book is particularly hobbled by a limited appreciation of how comics might blur with (and be surpassed by) electronic gaming.

His basic optimism is that the comics genre can expand to satisfy more readers' needs by:

1. Becoming more like literature.
2. Developing as an art form.
3. Providing creators with more rights.
4. Changing the industry business model to serve everyone's needs better
5. Improving public image.
6. Reducing the heavy hand of governmental overview.
7. Appeal to females.
8. Represent all kinds of people.
9. Diversify in subgenres.
10. Employing improved digital production methods.
11. Providing digital delivery.
12. Exploring the potential of digital comics.

Basically, he sees escaping the box of limited distribution by providing online, direct distribution. This method is potentially cheaper and could provide for more creators while eliminating many intermediaries.

I suspect that some of his optimism will be "over the rainbow" for quite a while yet.

It's interesting that even the blockbuster success of so many comic-based characters hasn't helped to reinvigorate the comics business more. I think that's where he doesn't realize that in a world of video, comics seem dated and static.

Will comics go the way of high art and become something primarily for older aficionados? I doubt it. Comics are like candy to boys of a certain age. Comics help them to dream. Can comics go beyond that heritage? It's possible, but is it likely? Books like this one will have to do more than point the way: Breakthrough success is needed to draw an audience and more inspired creators.

I hope Mr. McCloud is right. I still like comics.
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on 30 August 2014
Very much more for the comic artist than someone just interested in comics (unlike 'Understanding Comics', which is for anyone in any way interested in comics). It is also extremely dated, as one would expect of a book making predictions about the future of computers and the internet in 2000. For all that, though, there are some interesting ideas, particularly regarding how the form of comics can change to meet the possibilities of computers and the internet while remaining comics.
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on 14 May 2014
A definite must have for comic book lovers and those who study contemporary arts. I also recommend Understanding Comics by the same author.
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on 10 April 2016
excellent price for this item + delivered on time
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on 18 July 2009
Scott McCloud is the creator of the series "Understanding Comics". This revolutionary comic type reveals the true path of comic history and its follow up.

In Understanding Comics, Scott describes comics as an misunderstood art that combines literature with art and other things. Scott tries to make people care about comics and not see them as a less quality work of art.

Although very good, this book isn't as good as the first one.
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