Scott McCloud

Scott McCloud (born Scott McLeod on June 10, 1960) is an American cartoonist and comics theorist. He is best known for his non-fiction books about comics: Understanding Comics (1993), Reinventing Comics (2000), and Making Comics (2006), all of which also use the medium of comics.

He established himself as a comics creator in the 1980s as an independent superhero cartoonist and advocate for creator's rights. He rose to prominence in the industry beginning in the 1990s for his non-fiction works about the medium, and has advocated the use of new technology in the creation and distribution of comics.

Scott McCloud
Scott McCloud.Making Comics Tour.RISD.gk
McCloud in 2007
BornScott McLeod
June 10, 1960 (age 58)
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Notable works

Early life

McCloud was born in 1960[1] in Boston, Massachusetts, the youngest child of Willard Wise (a blind inventor and engineer)[2] and Patricia Beatrice McLeod,[3][4] and spent most of his childhood in Lexington, Massachusetts.[5] He decided he wanted to be a comics artist in 1975, during his junior year in high school.

He attended Syracuse University's Illustration program[1][5] and graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1982.[6]



During his high school years, he collaborated on comics with his schoolmate Kurt Busiek. While still teenagers, the two of them, together with fellow teenagers Christopher Bing (a 2001 Caldecott Medal winner) and Richard Howell, created the first licensed Marvel/DC crossover comic Biff! Bang! Pops!, a one-shot sold in conjunction with a 1978 Boston Pops performance of comics-themed music.[7]

While working as a production artist at DC Comics, McCloud created the light-hearted science fiction/superhero comic book series Zot! in 1984, in part as a reaction to the increasingly grim direction that superhero comics were taking in the 1980s.

His other print comics include Destroy!! (a deliberately over-the-top, oversized single-issue comic book, intended as a parody of formulaic superhero fights), the 1998 graphic novel The New Adventures of Abraham Lincoln (done with a mixture of computer-generated and manually drawn digital images), 12 issues writing DC Comics' Superman Adventures in the late 1990s and the 2005 three-issue series Superman: Strength, and the 2015 graphic novel The Sculptor.[8]

Creator's Bill of Rights

McCloud was the principal author of the Creator's Bill of Rights, a 1988 document with the stated aim of protecting the rights of comic book creators and help aid against the exploitation of comic artists and writers by corporate work-for-hire practices.[9] The group that adopted the Bill also included artists Kevin Eastman, Dave Sim, and Stephen R. Bissette.[10] The Bill included twelve rights such as "The right to full ownership of what we fully create," and "The right to prompt payment of a fair and equitable share of profits derived from all of our creative work."[11]

24-hour comic

In 1990, McCloud coined the idea of a 24-hour comic: a complete 24-page comic created by a single cartoonist in 24 consecutive hours. It was a mutual challenge with cartoonist Steve Bissette, intended to compel creative output with a minimum of self-restraining contemplation.[12] Thousands of cartoonists have since taken up the challenge, including Neil Gaiman; Kevin Eastman, co-creator of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; Dave Sim, who published some of his work from this challenge in Cerebus the Aardvark;[13] and Rick Veitch who used it as a springboard for his comic Rarebit Fiends.[14]

Non-fiction about comics

In the early 1990s, McCloud began a series of three books about the medium and business of comics, all done in comics form. The first of these was Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, published in 1993, which established him as a popular comics theorist, described as the "Aristotle of comics"[15] and the "Marshall McLuhan of comics".[4] The book was a wide-ranging exploration of the definition, history, vocabulary, and methods of the medium of comics,[16] and is widely cited in academic discussions of the medium.[17][18]

In 2000, McCloud published Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an Art Form, in which he outlined twelve "revolutions" taking place, that he argued would be keys to the growth and success of comics as a popular and creative medium.

McCloud returned to focus on the medium itself in 2006 with Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga, and Graphic Novels, an instructional guide to the process of producing comics, which he followed with a promotional lecture tour with his family of all 50 U.S. states and parts of Europe.[19]


Beginning in the late 1990s, McCloud was an early advocate of micropayments.[20] He was an adviser to BitPass, a company that provided an online micropayment system, which he helped launch with the publication of The Right Number, an online graphic novella priced at US$0.25 for each chapter.

McCloud maintains an active online presence on his web site where he publishes many of his ongoing experiments with comics produced specifically for the web. Among the techniques he explores is the "infinite canvas" permitted by a web browser, allowing panels to be spatially arranged in ways not possible in the finite, two-dimensional, paged format of a physical book.[16]

Google commissioned him in 2008 to created a comic to serve as the press release introducing their web browser Chrome.[21]

Personal life

McCloud lives in California.[22] He married Ivy Ratafia in 1988,[23] with whom he has two daughters, Sky and Winter.[24]



  • 1988 Harvey Award for Best Cartoonist for Zot![32]
  • 1988 Eisner Award for Best Single Issue for Zot! #14[33]
  • 1988 Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series for Zot![33]
  • 1988 Eisner Award for Best Black-and-White Series for Zot![33]
  • 1988 Eisner Award for Best Writer/Artist for Zot![33]
  • 1991 Harvey Award for Best Writer for Zot![34]
  • 1991 Harvey Award for Best Single Issue or Story for Zot! #33[34]
  • 1991 Eisner Award for Best Story or Single Issue for Zot! #33[35]
  • 1991 Eisner Award for Best Continuing Series for Zot![35]
  • 1991 Eisner Award for Best Black-and-White Series for Zot![35]
  • 1991 Eisner Award for Best Writer for Zot![35]
  • 1992 Harvey Award for Best Single Issue or Story for Zot! #35[36]
  • 1993 Harvey Award for Best Biographical, Historical or Journalistic Presentation for Understanding Comics: The Slideshow![37]
  • 1994 Hugo Award for Best Related Non-Fiction Book for Understanding Comics[38]
  • 1998 Eisner Award for Best Single Issue for Superman Adventures #3 ("Distant Thunder"; with Rick Burchett and Terry Austin)[39]
  • 1998 Eisner Award for Best Serialized Story for Superman Adventures #11-12 ("The War Within"; with Rick Burchett and Terry Austin)[39]
  • 1998 Eisner Award for Best Writer for Superman Adventures[39]
  • 2007 Harvey Award for Best Biographical, Historical or Journalistic Presentation for Making Comics[40]


  • Zot!
    • Zot!: Book One (Eclipse Books, 1991) ISBN 978-0-913035-04-7
    • Zot!: Book Two (Issues 11-15 & 17-18) (Kitchen Sink Press, 1998) ISBN 978-0-87816-428-8
    • Zot!: The Complete Black and White Collection: 1987-1991 (Harper Paperbacks, 2008) ISBN 0-06-153727-6
  • comics scholarship
  • The New Adventures of Abraham Lincoln (Image Comics, 1998) ISBN 978-1-887279-87-1
  • 24 Hour Comics (editor) (About Comics, 2004) ISBN 978-0-9716338-4-1
  • Destroy!! (Oversized Edition) (Eclipse Books, 1986)
  • The Sculptor (First Second, 2015) 978-1-59643-573-5


  1. ^ a b McCloud, Scott. (2000), Reinventing Comics. Paradox Press. p. 92
  2. ^ McCloud, Scott, The visual magic of comics, retrieved 2019-02-10
  3. ^ Understanding Comics
  4. ^ a b Warren, James (June 17, 2011). "A New Therapeutic Tool in the Doctor's Bag: Comic Strips". The New York Times. Retrieved March 19, 2013.
  5. ^ a b Albert Boime and David Dodd (August 22, 2000), "PROFILE INTERVIEW: Scott McCloud". PopImage. Retrieved November 16, 2011.
  6. ^ Harvey, R.C. (August 1979), "Scott McCloud" Archived 2012-03-19 at the Wayback Machine. The Comics Journal #179. Retrieved November 16, 2011.
  7. ^
  8. ^ McCloud, Scott (Feb 2015). The Sculptor. New York: First Second.
  9. ^ Coogan, Pete (September, 1990). "Creator's Rights". The Comics Journal p. 65-71
  10. ^ McCloud, Scott (2000). Reinventing Comics, New York: Paradox Press. Pg. 62
  11. ^ "Creator's Bill of Rights". 2006-10-13.
  12. ^ Brattleboro Museum. "The 24-Hour Comic Book Challenge". Archived from the original on 2007-06-07.
  13. ^ Cerebus #142 (Aardvark/Vanaheim, January 1991).
  14. ^ McCloud, Scott. The 24-Hour Comics Index. Retrieved October, 2013.
  15. ^ Wardrip-Fruin, Noah & Montfort, Nick (2003). The New Media Reader. The MIT Press.
  16. ^ a b
  17. ^ Miodrag, Hannah (2013-07-08). Comics and Language: Reimagining Critical Discourse on the Form. Univ. Press of Mississippi. ISBN 9781617038044.
  18. ^ Dong, Lan (2014-01-10). Teaching Comics and Graphic Narratives: Essays on Theory, Strategy and Practice. McFarland. ISBN 9780786492640.
  19. ^ MIT news (September 20, 2006). "'Making Comics' author decodes cartoons". Archived from the original on November 28, 2007.
  20. ^ Ben Hammersley (August 7, 2003). "Making the web pay". The Guardian.
  21. ^ McCloud, Scott (2008-09-01). "Google Chrome, behind the Open Source Browser Product". Google. Retrieved 2008-09-02.
  22. ^ McCloud, Scott "About". Retrieved November 30, 2012.
  23. ^ McCloud, Scott. Postscript to The Sculptor (First Second, 2015).
  24. ^ Ratafia, Ivy. "What I did on my summer vacation," Ivy Ratafia's journal (Apr. 16, 2016).
  25. ^ 1985 "Jack Kirby Awards". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac]. Retrieved November 16, 2011.
  26. ^ Kees Kousemaker. "Scott McCloud". Kees Kousemaker's Lambiek Comiclopedia. Retrieved November 16, 2011.
  27. ^ "The Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award" Archived 2011-11-01 at the Wayback Machine. San Diego Comic-Con International. Retrieved November 16, 2011.
  28. ^ "The Russ Manning Most Promising Newcomer Award". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Retrieved November 16, 2011.
  29. ^ "1994 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. November 16, 2011.
  30. ^ a b c "1994 Harvey Award Nominees and Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Retrieved November 16, 2011.
  31. ^ "2001 Harvey Award Nominees and Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Retrieved November 16, 2011.
  32. ^ "1988 Harvey Award Nominees and Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Retrieved November 16, 2011.
  33. ^ a b c d "1988 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. November 16, 2011.
  34. ^ a b "1991 Harvey Award Nominees and Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Retrieved November 16, 2011.
  35. ^ a b c d "1991 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. November 16, 2011.
  36. ^ "1992 Harvey Award Nominees and Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Retrieved November 16, 2011.
  37. ^ "1993 Harvey Award Nominees and Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Retrieved November 16, 2011.
  38. ^
  39. ^ a b c "1998 Will Eisner Comic Industry Award Nominees". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. November 16, 2011.
  40. ^ "2007 Harvey Award Nominees and Winners". Hahn Library Comic Book Awards Almanac. Retrieved November 16, 2011.


External links


24-hour comic

A 24-hour comic is a 24-page comic book written, drawn, and completed in 24 hours. Cartoonist Scott McCloud came up with the challenge in 1990 as a creative exercise for himself and fellow comics artist Stephen R. Bissette. Beginning in 2004, writer Nat Gertler helped popularize the form by organizing annual 24 Hour Comics Days (usually held in October), which now take place regularly in the United States and many other countries worldwide.


Destroy may refer to:

Destroy (album), a 2004 album by Ektomorf

Destroy!, a Minneapolis Crust punk band

Destroy!!, a comic book by Scott McCloud

Girls Against Boys

Girls Against Boys is an American indie rock/post-hardcore band, formed in Washington, D.C. in 1988 and currently based in New York City.

How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way

How to Draw Comics the Marvel Way is a book by Stan Lee and John Buscema. The book teaches the aspiring comic book artist how to draw and create comic books. The examples are from Marvel Comics and Buscema artwork. It was first published in 1978 by Marvel Fireside Books and has been reprinted regularly. The book created a generation of cartoonists who learned there was a "Marvel way to draw and a wrong way to draw". It is considered "one of the best instruction books on creating comics ever produced."Some believe the "exercises in the book are silly with its stick figures, cylinders, cubes, and storytelling." Scott McCloud has cited the book as a good reference for teaching the process of making comic books.Lee and Buscema also created a video version of the book which is now on DVD.

Infinite canvas

The infinite canvas refers to the potentially limitless space that is available to webcomics presented on the World Wide Web. The term was introduced by Scott McCloud in his 2000 book Reinventing Comics, in which he suggested that webcomic creators could make a Web page as large as needed to contain a comic page of any conceivable size. This infinite canvas would create an endless amount of storytelling benefits and would allow creators much more freedom in how they present their artwork.

Journalists responded skeptically to McCloud's idea of the infinite canvas, as five years after Reinventing Comics, the concept had not taken off in large proportions yet. Webcomics were primarily presented in the form of comic strips, which fit easily on a screen. Various webcomic creators have experimented with the infinite canvas, however, and extending comics to beyond what is possible in print has gained some popularity over the years.

Making Comics

Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga, and Graphic Novels is a book by comic book writer and artist Scott McCloud, published by William Morrow Paperbacks in 2006. A study of methods of constructing comics, it is a thematic sequel to McCloud's critically acclaimed books Understanding Comics and Reinventing Comics.

As with its two predecessors, Making Comics is itself in comic book form, with McCloud's avatar (now "aged" 13 years since Understanding Comics) leading the reader through the pages. The book details the processes behind storytelling, character design, and other challenges specific to the medium, with illustrative examples drawn from the history of comics. Complex topics are frequently boiled down to a few principles, such as classifying cartoonists into four types, or identifying the "six basic emotions."

The book is dedicated to Will Eisner.

Masking (illustration)

The masking effect or masking is a visual style, dramatic convention, and literary technique described by cartoonist Scott McCloud in his book Understanding Comics in the chapter on realism. It is the use of simplistic, archetypal, narrative characters, even if juxtaposed with detailed, photographic, verisimilar, spectacular backgrounds. This may function, McCloud infers, as a mask, a form of projective identification. His explanation is that a familiar and minimally detailed character allows for a stronger emotional connection and for viewers to identify more easily.

It is used in animation, comics, illustration, video games (especially visual novels) and other media. It is common in Western graphic novels and Japanese comics and animation. The psychology behind the masking effect has been extended to rendering antagonists in a realistic manner in order to show their otherness from the reader.

New Wet Kojak

New Wet Kojak was an American indie rock band from New York City.

The group was formed when two members of Girls Against Boys, Scott McCloud and Johnny Temple, joined three other former residents of Washington, D.C., Geoff Turner (ex-Gray Matter), Nick Pellicciotto (ex-Edsel), and Charles Bennington. The group released four full-length albums between 1995 and 2003.

Paramount Styles

Paramount Styles is an American indie rock band from New York formed by Scott McCloud (guitarist) of Girls Against Boys.

McCloud recorded the debut with Alexis Fleisig (Girls Against Boys), Richard Fortus (Guns N' Roses, The Psychedelic Furs) and some others. Live the band consisted of Alexis Fleisig, Geoff Sanoff (Edsel, Stratosphere) Simon Lenski (DAAU) playing cello, and Chris Smets (Star Club West) on lead guitar. In 2008, during the US tour John Schmersal (Enon) also participated as well as Geoff Sanoff, Michael Hampton and Julia Kent. In spring 2009, the band tours through Europe with guitarist CChhris 'The sound' Smet.

Reinventing Comics

Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an Art Form (2000) is a book written by comic book writer and artist Scott McCloud. It was a thematic sequel to his critically acclaimed Understanding Comics, and was followed by Making Comics.

Sequential art

In comics studies, sequential art is a term proposed by comics artist Will Eisner to describe art forms that use images deployed in a specific order for the purpose of graphic storytelling (i.e., narration of graphic stories) or conveying information. The best-known example of sequential art is comics.


Soulside, also spelled Soul Side, was a post-hardcore band from the greater Washington, D.C. area. The original name of the band was Lunchmeat, formed in 1985. The name was changed to Soulside in spring 1986 and they disbanded in summer of 1989, after an extensive European tour and recording the definitive Hot Bodi-Gram. The group's sound could be described as clean, heavy, and warm, with lyrics focused on politics.

Soulside were the only American band to play at one of the illegal punk shows held in East Berlin in the 1980s, shows put on in tolerant Lutheran churches against the wishes of the dictatorship and its security organs such as the Stasi. The shows normally featured banned East German groups, and only rarely did international bands appear, traveling into East Berlin on tourist visas and playing in borrowed gear.

Of Soulside's four members, three (Scott McCloud, Johnny Temple, and Alexis Fleisig) went on to form the post-hardcore band Girls Against Boys at the end of the 1980s. Bobby Sullivan went on to form a band called Seven League Boots, who played a blend of reggae and punk. Afterwards he was involved with Rain Like the Sound of Trains, Sevens, and Spontaneous Earth.

Space Angel

Space Angel is an animated science fiction television series produced in the United States from early 1962 through 1964. It used the same Synchro-Vox lip technique as Clutch Cargo, the first cartoon produced by the same studio, Cambria Productions.

The series chronicled the adventures of three astronauts who worked for the Earth Bureau of Investigation's Interplanetary Space Force on board the spaceship Starduster: Captain/Pilot Scott McCloud, also known as "The Space Angel" (voiced by Ned Lefebver), Electronics/Communications expert Crystal Mace (voiced by Margaret Kerry), and the immensely strong Scottish born Gunner/Engineer Taurus (voiced by Hal Smith).

Superman Adventures

Superman Adventures is a DC Comics comic book series featuring Superman. It is different from other Superman titles because it is set in the continuity (and style) of Superman: The Animated Series as opposed to the regular DC Universe. It ran for 66 issues between 1996 and 2002. Writers on the series included Paul Dini, Mark Evanier, Devin Grayson, Scott McCloud, Mark Millar, and Ty Templeton. It is a sister title to The Batman Adventures (based on Batman: The Animated Series) and Justice League Adventures (based on Justice League).

Teho Teardo

Teho Teardo is an Italian musician and composer.

He is a founding member of the rock band Meathead. In the 1990s he collaborated with Mick Harris, Jim Coleman and Lydia Lunch. With Scott McCloud (Girls Against Boys) he started a new project called Operator. Together they released an album titled Welcome to the Wonderful World in 2003, and toured with Placebo. In 2006 he made an album inspired by Pier Paolo Pasolini's poetry with Erik Friedlander. In 2013 he started a fruitful collaboration with Blixa Bargeld and they have released four albums to date.

Teardo has composed musical scores for many Italian films like Gabriele Salvatores' Denti or Paolo Sorrentino's The Family Friend and Il Divo. For Denti he was awarded the Quality prize from the Italian Minister of Culture. For his soundtrack Il Divo Teardo won the David di Donatello Award in 2009.He lives and works in Rome.

The Right Number

The Right Number is an infinite canvas webcomic by Scott McCloud. The webcomic makes use of an experimental zooming user interface, where each subsequent panel is nested inside of the panel that comes before it. The Right Number follows a man who discovers that one can figure out someone's character traits based on their phone number, and starts to abuse the patterns he finds to search the perfect girlfriend. The story is focused on obsession and how it is impossible to find the perfect mate. Two of its three parts were published in 2003 through the BitPass micropayment service McCloud was a consultant for at the time. The third part was never released, and when BitPass went under in 2007, McCloud released the two existing parts of The Right Number for free.

The Sculptor (comics)

The Sculptor is a graphic novel by American cartoonist Scott McCloud published in 2015. It tells of a David Smith whom Death gives 200 days to live in exchange for the power to sculpt anything he can imagine. Complications set in when David falls in love.

Understanding Comics

Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art is a 1993 non-fiction work of comics by American cartoonist Scott McCloud. It explores formal aspects of comics, the historical development of the medium, its fundamental vocabulary, and various ways in which these elements have been used. It expounds theoretical ideas about comics as an art form and medium of communication, and is itself written in comic book form.Understanding Comics received praise from notable comic and graphic novel authors such as Art Spiegelman, Will Eisner, Alan Moore, Neil Gaiman, and Garry Trudeau (who reviewed the book for the New York Times). Although the book has prompted debate over many of McCloud’s conclusions, its discussions of "iconic" art and the concept of "closure" between panels have become common reference points in discussions of the medium.The title of Understanding Comics is an homage to Marshall McLuhan's seminal 1964 work Understanding Media.


Zot! is a comic book created by Scott McCloud in 1984 and published by Eclipse Comics until 1990 as a lighthearted alternative to the darker and more violent comics that predominated the industry during that period. There were a total of 36 issues, with the first ten in color and the remainder in black and white. McCloud credited Astro Boy creator Osamu Tezuka as a major influence on the book, making it one of the first manga-inspired American comic books.

Scott McCloud

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