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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading on comics and information theory
In 1993, Scott McCloud published an unexpected blast of pure genius, _Understanding Comics_: a monograph on comic books in the form of a comic book. Now he has created a sequel. I was leery at first; I wasn't sure that there was much more to be said, and I feared that the freshness of the first volume would be lacking. The first half of _Reinventing Comics_...
Published on July 25, 2000 by Robert E. Helmerichs

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Book Too Far
I read Understanding Comics and thought it was genius. McCloud broke down all elements of the creation of comics, and explained them in a funny and interesting way. This book attempted to explain that phenomenon in the context of the burgeoning web. It was a valiant attempt, but seemed dated for me, even at the time of its publication. I guess he couldn't have seen how...
Published 10 months ago by David S. Burt


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43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading on comics and information theory, July 25, 2000
By 
This review is from: Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an Art Form (Paperback)
In 1993, Scott McCloud published an unexpected blast of pure genius, _Understanding Comics_: a monograph on comic books in the form of a comic book. Now he has created a sequel. I was leery at first; I wasn't sure that there was much more to be said, and I feared that the freshness of the first volume would be lacking. The first half of _Reinventing Comics_ somewhat fulfilled my fears; chapters dealing with the artistic and business side of comics seemed like afterthoughts to the first book, and chapters on issues of diversity, while interesting enough, didn't really jump off the page at me.
But the second half of the book, unexpectedly, brought back to me the excitement I felt in 1993. It covers new technology, especially the Internet: digital production, digital distribution, and the evolution of comics in the digital world. McCloud includes a brief history of computers, the internet, and computer graphics, and analyzes both the impact digitalization has had on comics, and the impact he expects it to have in the future. Always the optimist (see Zot!), McCloud is also terribly smart, and the future he envisions is exciting and provocative.
_Reinventing Comics_ is essential reading for anybody interested in comics, in the potentials of the Internet, in information theory, or simply in thinking.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, but not as successful as "Understanding Comics", August 31, 2000
By 
a_bucket_of_shoes (Walnut Creek, CA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an Art Form (Paperback)
This book continues the arguments McCloud made about the validity and potential of comics in his earlier book "Understanding Comics". He still uses the comics format, but the effect isn't as strong since the subject matter here isn't as much comics itself as the financial and logistical aspects of the comics industry and the technical aspects of comics creation in an electronic environment; thus it never quite captures the astounding, recursively expressive effect that the earlier book had.
Still, McCloud's discussions and insights on the nature of the production and distribution of comics are worth the read. His ideas about the future of comics on the internet are less convincing (he suggests the prime advantage of internet comics are an avoidance of the confines of the physical page; in my opinion, restrictions like that, in any art form, usually provide both limits and opportunities).
Anyone with an interest in the distribution of comics, or any art form, will find much of the book insightful and helpful. Many people new to the internet will find the discussion of it useful. But techies, especially those who have studied hypertext, won't learn anything new about the net here.
In summary, this book is recommended for its content, but the essay-as-comics form isn't as effective this time around. The same material could probably have been presented as straight text with a few illustrations, and the resulting book would have had the same impact in fewer pages. The arguments are interesting, if not wholly convincing, and the inclusion of an index and a bibliography round it out nicely.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding the present of comics, July 23, 2001
By 
Eric Londaits (Buenos Aires, Argentina) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an Art Form (Paperback)
Thankfully this book is neither a 'How-To' in digital comics, nor a book praising the wonders of clunky web comics (which I feared when I first heard about it), for Scott McCloud the future of comics is much more about diversity, and a more direct connection between the reader and the author.
If you read "Understanding Comics" (if not, you should), you already experienced Scott McCloud's love of sequential art firsthand in his very accessible analysis of the form. Having acknowledged the incredible potential the medium has to offer, "Reinventing Comics" brings us to terms with why we're not quite there yet. This book is not so much about comics themselves, as about comic books today in America (brief mentions are made to European and Japanese comics, but mostly to make clear what the book is not talking about).
McCloud uses his concept of the 'twelve revolutions' to visit the shaping moments of American comic book history, and the current state of the industry. The book abounds with examples of comics that push the medium farther, facing many of the challenges posed (like ethnical diversity, feminine presence, and diverse genres and subject matters), most of which will be familiar to readers of current alternative comic books (Maus, Ghost World, Bone, Love and Rockets, Joe Sacco's works, etc.) The exposition is very clear and enjoyable, even for non comic book readers, which might as well be touched by the passion for the medium shown in every page. A vision is shared by McCloud with the reader, through this book, for a future of exciting possibilities.
The future, indeed, is the theme of the second part of the book, in which the eventual marriage of digital technology and comic books is discussed. A somewhat lengthy (for my taste, I admit) explanation of the internet and other current technologies is given, along with very conservative calculations of what the future might look like. McCloud's case is very solid, as he doesn't try to predict, but rather to open a window, for everyone to see some of the many possibilities available. A final analysis of the form is made, as questions are raised about what sequential art is when free from the "tyranny" of the page.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Turn the Page, October 28, 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an Art Form (Paperback)
I bought this book with some hesitation after reading the reviews. I thoroughly enjoyed "Understanding Comics" but worried that "Reinventing Comics" would not live up to its potential. After reading it, I think that "Reinventing Comics" is just as profound of work as "Understanding Comics." The negative reviewers fail to see this book as another direction of study. It is not a sequel to "Understanding Comics." It is an excellent look at other aspects of the comics industry and communication media as a whole.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great McCloud Comics Trilogy- 3 of the Best-Ever, December 11, 2006
By 
"extreme_dig_cm" (Everywhere, USA, Amazon. com Fan!) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an Art Form (Paperback)
Want 3 of the best-ever books on the general topic of comics? Here they are! (each generally sold separately)

1.*Understanding Comics- A *landmark* & bestselling examination of the medium. A comicbook on comics! While I try not to use the "genius" label *too* liberally, with Understanding Comics it really seems to fit(!). 5 Stars!

2.*Reinventing Comics- Maybe his best *looking* book (in my opinion), it's basically split into 2 sections: The 12 Revolutions in comics; and then basic Internet/Computer/Web Comics. The 12 Revolutions is a look at 12 aspects of the comicbook industry; areas that need continual development & improvement. I found this book fascinating, but it's certainly not for everyone. These areas include: comics as literature; comics as art; creator's rights; industry innovation; public perception; institutional scrutiny; gender balance; minority representation; diversity of genre; digital production; digital delivery; and digital comics. It's these last three that make up the second part of the book. Some people seem annoyed with McCloud's seemingly rapid success as a spokesperson for the industry, but I'm not. After writing Understanding Comics, I think he's earned at *least* a seat at the table of high profile industry personalities. I guess the criticism is that his actual comicbook work lacks bestseller status. But if his comicbooks *on* comics are bestsellers, his contributions seem valid enough to me. Reinventing Comics is the least popular & practical in the Trilogy, yet I still really like it! 4-1/2 Stars.

3.*Making Comics- It's like Understanding Comics refined, as well as a "hands-on" introduction to the medium. It competes with that 1st title for most popular in the Trilogy, and it's highly recommended to anyone who wants to make comics! I like it! 5 Stars.

In conclusion: His 1st & 3rd books being the most popular, Reinventing Comics is *great* for the digitally minded(!).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Book Too Far, August 29, 2013
By 
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This review is from: Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an Art Form (Paperback)
I read Understanding Comics and thought it was genius. McCloud broke down all elements of the creation of comics, and explained them in a funny and interesting way. This book attempted to explain that phenomenon in the context of the burgeoning web. It was a valiant attempt, but seemed dated for me, even at the time of its publication. I guess he couldn't have seen how the web would morph into blogs, video, social sites, animation, apps, etc. Unfortunately, my copy is now gathering dust on the shelf while I pull Understanding Comics down every few months or so to review or show my kids. Think I'll go look at it now.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like comics, you need these books., December 6, 2001
This review is from: Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an Art Form (Paperback)
Understanding Comics is a chronicle of the infinitely weird connection of words and pictures that is comics. It tells usabout the heart of the concept of moving your eyes across panels, looking at the pictures, reading the words, and perceiving them all as a unified, flowing entity. It told us how and why the concept of reading and creating comics works.
Reinventing comics, on the other hand, focuses more on the public's attitude toward comics, the comic industry, and the varied possibilities of new ways of creating, distributing, marketing, purchasing, and reading comics. It contains many of Scott's theories as to how comics are and could be influenced by the internet and the new way of thinking it has brought us.
These are two very different books with two very different subject matters. However, they link hand in hand to aid us in viewing the medium of comics as a whole. If you liked Understanding Comics, you may or may not like Reinventing Comics. If you liked Reinventing Comics, you may or may not like Understanding Comics. But if you want to view the authors opinions and ideas on everything and anything that did, does, and will apply to Comics, I advise you get them both.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, November 9, 2006
By 
Tali "Comic lover" (Petah Tiqwa, Israel) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an Art Form (Paperback)
No other word for it. Mcloud strikes again with another amazing insite to comics, specifically to comics' future. The ideas presented in this book are feasible and inspiring for comic artists and readers. The possibilities are endless and Mcloud gives a good fertile starting ground.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars self-referential visual communicator extraordinaire!, August 8, 2000
This review is from: Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an Art Form (Paperback)
I've just picked up Reinventing Comics and am overwhelmed with the same feeling I had when I first saw Understanding Comics.
I am in the business of trying to caste new visual (and full-sensorium) idioms for understanding abstract information in scientific disciplines. Scott's books are incredible sources for insight into the discipline of communicating with other than words.
Scott's view of the worlds we create with our imaginations and the way we can send consistent, rich, clear signals using minimal tools (pen & ink?) is awesome.
It will take years for the rest of us to catch up with Scott's work, but in the meantime I am sure I will read and reread his work as I once did my Marvel and DC comics.
This time it is work!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scott McCloud has helped legitimize an art form...., March 16, 2003
By 
Movie Guy (Los Angeles, Ca) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an Art Form (Paperback)
This book is great in it's exploration of the topic and giving us beautiful new perspective on one of the most under rated and overlooked art forms. However, this book doesn't reach the peak that McCloud reached in his masterpiece "Understanding Comics" simply because of the more technical tone and the more specific relevance. His first book not only expanded minds on the idea of comic art or "sequential art" but he also expanded minds on the world in general and how we as humans express ourselves in life. This newer book expands on comic specific ideas so it loses the broad relevance. Still a must read for anyone who believes in this art form... and we all should.
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Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an Art Form
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