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Garza! Demian5! Farley! McCloud! (Part 2)

We now present part 2 of the online chat between Cayetano "Cat" Garza Jr, Scott McCloud, Demian5, and Patrick Farley. This chat took place Saturday, March 29, 2003.  (Read part one of the chat here.)

Cat Garza is the creator of several webcomics including: Welcome to Whimville, Magic Inkwell Comic Strip Theatre, and Cuentos de la Frontera. Scott McCloud is the author of Understanding Comics and Reinventing Comics. Demian5 is the creator of the webcomic classic, When I Am King, and Patrick Farley is the creator of webcomics such as Apocamon, The Spiders, and The Guy I Almost Was.

patrick_farley: i have this theory, if you'll indulge me...
patrick_farley: the idea is that *fire* was one of the first human art media
scott_mccloud: i'll buy that
patrick_farley: humans domesticated fire not because of heat and cooking, and utility, etc...
patrick_farley: but because they liked to watch it.
patrick_farley: the other stuff was anciliary.
scott_mccloud: plausible
patrick_farley: so, flashing forward to the modern day
catgarza: i know i like watching a campfire...
patrick_farley: television and film and cartoon is our modern version of watching fire.
scott_mccloud: and computers
demian5: cold fire
catgarza: interesting theory
catgarza: digital fire
scott_mccloud: yeah

patrick_farley: this sorta ties in with what you were saying, Cat, about animation being a bigger attention grab than static comics
catgarza: made up of tiny little lights
catgarza: ah, i see...
catgarza: yeah print comics and print in general was the vessel for so long...
catgarza: and it's draw is strong..
scott_mccloud: we're certainly programmed to focus on motion
catgarza: but the web is immediate and will be even more immediate and accesible...
catgarza: soon
patrick_farley: agreed.
scott_mccloud: motion = might be food
catgarza: i just don't know anymore... probably better not to get distracted thinking about it too much...
demian5: what about books?
demian5: what about silent art?
scott_mccloud: books = the memory killer
scott_mccloud: now we don't have to keep it in our heads
scott_mccloud: every new technology kills something
catgarza: like when the resistance in FARENHEIHT 451 had to each memorize a book...
patrick_farley: heh
catgarza: what if the net goes down somehow...
scott_mccloud: one dystopia that hasn't come true.... yet
demian5: i mean literature, it will survive...
demian5: without glowing lights
catgarza: just after we've transferred all our collected human knowledge onto it?

patrick_farley: i'm of the opinion that the digital world is going to be the great fusion reactor of all the media
scott_mccloud: Fusion AND fission
scott_mccloud: convergence flows both ways
catgarza: but it's even more unstable than physical books
catgarza: to some degree..
scott_mccloud: true
catgarza: what if we don't have the power to run computers...
patrick_farley: i think literature will evolve and mutate in this century, but it will look more like glistening grafitti and illuminated manuscript
catgarza: or the right media/programs/etc.
patrick_farley: because it will be digitized, on e-paper or somesuch thing.
scott_mccloud: that's why we need to store more on our local drives
scott_mccloud: real permanence can't be centralized
catgarza: real permanence doesn't exist, i think...
scott_mccloud: party pooper
demian5: there will always be a market for "calmer" stuff...
demian5: stuff [that] doesn't glow and crash,...
scott_mccloud: true
patrick_farley: sure.
scott_mccloud: variety of media
catgarza: what about compatibility later?

patrick_farley: are you guys familiar with "Leap Pads" and "Leap Books" ?
demian5: ?
scott_mccloud: do tell
patrick_farley: they' re interactive books for kids.
scott_mccloud: what device?
patrick_farley: it's a paper book with a light pen and a computer chip in the book's binding
catgarza: cool
scott_mccloud: ooh
patrick_farley: you can read the book, click anywhere on the page, and the book speaks to you.
catgarza: can you get em at a regular bookstore?
scott_mccloud: THAT'S spooky
patrick_farley: no, you buy them at toy stores
scott_mccloud: i like it
catgarza: like Barnes and Noble (shudder... corporate run bookstores.. gah)?
catgarza: ah
catgarza: very cool
demian5: me too
patrick_farley: my 3-year-old friend, Sophie, removed the light pen and tried it on ordinary books
catgarza: lol
catgarza: cute..
catgarza: intuitive...
patrick_farley: she was disappointed that "Ping" didn't have interactivity.
scott_mccloud: my kids (aged 7 and 9) are going to take to this stuff like fish to water
catgarza: yup
patrick_farley: or Cat in the Hat.... or any of her other books.
catgarza: and more kids will as time goes on
catgarza: and then we'll all be relics
scott_mccloud: we're the immigrants to digital media. They're the true natives. The kids
patrick_farley: yes.
patrick_farley: so this is why i think "webcomics" will become mainstream...
scott_mccloud: And they'll encounter comics with fresh eyes

Re: Part 2 of the Online Chat Between Garza, McCloud, Demian5 an

cayetano garza's picture

i'll agree with you on the diversity of genre found in comics from japan, even if the visual style may seem a bit formulaic or rigidly monostylistic to the casual viewer...

we definitely need more comics about all kinds of things on the web.

year of the rat

Re: Part 2 of the Online Chat Between Garza, McCloud, Demian5 an

Heh, when Patrick Farley asked "Can you really SCARE an audience with a digital comic?" I tried to remember what I was reading the last time I felt like I had to peek at the screen from a distance before I had the nerve to click to the next page... And I realized it had been a comic by Partick Farley, his night terrors one. You can get more scary out of knowing (or at least strongly suspecting) what's about to happen than from being truly surprised.

Re: Part 2 of the Online Chat Between Garza, McCloud, Demian5 an

I'm not sure that its really form that stops webcomics from making the mainstream or really impacting people, its genre. One extra thing about manga is that their is manga generated for practically ALL groups.
Don't mean to sound offensive, but most webcomics reach the same genre it was meant for in the 80s, teens.
I'm thinking of doing something just different or something that would appeal to a different audience, like Scott Mccloud's chess webcomic did to some chess fans.

In conclusion, I think its good to look into new ways to utilize the web for making comics, but its possibly more important to share your interests, or make a fiction or non-fiction comic about your interests.

Re: Part 2 of the Online Chat Between Garza, McCloud, Demian5 an

I agree with you too on the part of the same-looking style in Japanese comics. I try to do as much art styles as possible.
Its kinda odd.
In Japan, they have more diverse ideas/stories, yet in the West, they have more diverse form/art styles. It would be really cool if we could take the best of both worlds.