Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Violet Eve Meets Scott McCloud

Here's a picture of Violet from the McCloud tour stop at Muse this Saturday.

More photos of the event, courtesy of thewylddream, can be found here.

Monday, May 21, 2007


…this Saturday at Muse Comics & Games in Missoula, MT.

Scott McCloud and clan made their singular Montana appearance for the “Making Comics Fifty State Tour”, and little Violet and I went down to see the show. It was a rewarding day on so many levels.

First, Scott and his family wonderful to meet in person. I, of course, have been a fan of Scott’s work since “Understanding Comics” was a relatively new book. I was in college at the time, writing an undergraduate thesis on comics and how they work. At the time there was very little written about the medium and its storytelling mechanics and language. If not for “Understanding Comics” and Will Eisner’s two books (“Comics & Sequential Art” and “Graphic Storytelling”) I would have had to make most of it up myself. Since then it seems there’s been an explosion of serious academic writing about comics, and serious study devoted to the medium. Most of the small crowd at Muse were University of Montana students writing about, or in, comics in one form or another. There was also Linette Ivanovich, a Missoula Public Library Young Adult Librarian who had helped organize getting Neil Gaiman to come to Montana for a talk the month before. And it looks to me like there’s a rise in programs like the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, VT, all allowing the serious student and artist to really tackle comics academically in a way that was impossible when I was in school now ten years back. I find this both encouraging and exciting, and I think Scott played a big part in getting the ball rolling.

Scott and his little family troupe were very friendly and approachable. The turnout was rather small, perhaps a disappointment, but that just made the event more intimate and friendly. Where else could you spend the better part of two hours talking about comics, fatherhood, and the differences between east and west coast life, or listen, while making a bottle for your baby daughter, to other interested comics academics have similarly diverse conversations with a man who’s changed the face of the comics medium?

Bringing Violet was wonderful as well. Her friendly smile and bright blue/grey eyes just draw people to her, and provide daddy with instant conversation material. (I am, as anyone who knows me can verify, a bit quiet and somewhat conversationally challenged. Having Violet in my arms completely changes that.) The McClouds and the gathered assembly all loved her, and she had several pictures taken. It was very amusing to watch Scott and his wife, Ivy, waving their Doctor Pepper bottles around in front of her as she followed them with her eyes (Violet currently has an obsession with the colour red, and will go out of her way to get her hands on any red thing she sees).

It was also a rewarding day because it was really the first time Violet and I have done anything just the two of us out and about in the world. Little miss was a perfect angel the whole time. She expressed a small bit of fuss when hungry (quickly solved by a bottle) and grew a bit restless as the day wore on. That was easily solved by a quick roll around the parking lot in the stroller.

Many thanks to the staff at Muse Comics & Games for putting on the event, and to Scott McCloud and family for taking the time to make the stop.