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Joe Stuteville
School of Informatics

Neal Moore
School of Informatics-IUPUI

Last modified: Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Touring scholar sketches role of comics in culture at School of Informatics

Feb. 27, 2007

INDIANAPOLIS -- Scott McCloud has some serious commentary about the role of comic books in our culture. On the other hand, the Boston-born cartoonist has some lighthearted, offbeat observations he's sharing with audiences as he crosses America's highways with his family in their minvan.

Scott McCloud

Scott McCloud

McCloud -- an acclaimed comics theorist and scholar -- is taking a detour to the School of Informatics at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Wednesday, March 7, to celebrate the release of his book, Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels (HarperCollins).

His lecture, which is free to the public, is hosted by the school's New Media program. It will get under way at 7 p.m. in room 152, Informatics and Communications Technology Complex, 535 W. Michigan St., on the IUPUI campus.

"Comics are changing fast, both in the kinds of stories that are being told and how their creators tell them," said McCloud. "Thanks to the graphic novel movement, the Manga (Japanese-style comics) invasion and the growth of Web comics, the story of comics in America is more exciting and unpredictable than ever."

McCloud puts these and other trends into perspective in a machine-gun presentation of up to 700 images of cartoon images depicting their similarities and differences in various cultures, and how they change over, or as he describes it, "mutate" over time.

"I also encourage a lively Q-and-A with folks who attend because ideas interest me so much," said McCloud, who was one of the pioneers and earliest promoters of Web-based comics and cartoons.

McCloud is the creator of cult science fiction comic book Zot!, Superman Adventures, Destroy! and the graphic novel, The New Adventures of Abraham Lincoln, a quirky tale about a couple of youngsters trying to expose an impostor president.

"Yeah -- the Lincoln book," said McCloud of his first attempt at computer-generated artwork. "People hated it when it first came out. I like to think of it as a noble failure though the consensus of comics fans at the time seemed to be that 'failure' was description enough. Happy to say I moved on from that."

More information about Scott McCloud, his work and his 50-state tour can be found at his Web site,

The IU School of Informatics New Media program prepares students to manage and coordinate Internet/Web operations and multimedia production and development. Study leans toward professional practice techniques, and relies on a theory-base which study communications as sight, sound and motion. More information about the program is at

To arrange an interview with Scott McCloud, contact Neal Moore at the School of Informatics-IUPUI at 317-278-9208, or at