I’ve always loved comics – except for an 18 year gap in which I forgot they existed. When I was little I read any comic I could get my hands on:
- those 3 pack plastic bags in pharmacy spinner racks (my only source for the longest time)
- Archie digests
- Daily & Sunday funnies
- The Phantom (aka Bataal) (when in India)
- Amar Chitra Katha (Indian history, mythology, folk tales – sold in India or sometimes Indian grocery stores in the US)
In high school I discovered comic book shops and spent most of my allowance there every Wednesday. One of the papers I wrote my senior year was about comic books and how they were not aimed only at children. At that point you could say I was fairly obsessed.
Then came college and post-graduate life, where more money was spent on stuff I pissed out within an hour than anything else. I eventually forgot about comics and life went on.
Then in 2008 Google shook things up by introducing a new browser – Chrome. Being a geek and a hater of Internet Exploder I was naturally intrigued. This CNet article explained how Google chose to introduce and describe Chrome with a comic by Scott McCloud.
I read the comic and loved how interesting it managed to make something that would have been pretty boring otherwise. Who was this Scott McCloud cat and how’d Google find him? The answer was also in the CNet article – McCloud wrote Understanding Comics, an engaging looks at what makes comics tick.
I got a copy from my library and was mind blown away. The book delved into comic history, how comics worked and how deep – and still unexplored – an art form it was.
I had forgotten how much I loved comics and it was good to get a smack upside the head reminding me. I started reading comics and taking advantage of libraries’ ever-expanding collection of graphic novels. And Scott McCloud’s style from Understanding Comics has had a direct influence on Fried Cheese Balls and my comic-making in general.
So thank you Mr. McCloud 🙂