Zot! Online: “Hearts and Minds”
(Scott McCloud)

Zot! OnlineYou’ll notice that this post is about a specific online comic, not Scott McCloud in general. (That’s a post for another day.) If you’re interested in comics and you’re not familiar with Scott McCloud (presumably because you’ve been living in a yurt somewhere on the Mongolian steppes), start with Understanding Comics and then go to ScottMcCloud.com and explore.

McCloud brought back Zot!, his hero from the 80’s, for one of his best forays into online comics, and one of my favorites. You know right away that you’re in for something different when you load the first “page”. The Zot! Online pages are long, scrolling arrangements of comic panels in which McCloud plays with the traditional narrative format of comics by changing the spatial relationships between the panels, often in ways only possible on a scrolling web page. He also plays with the nature of “panels” themselves, dissolving the dividing line between panel and page and extending decorative elements and bits of image into the space surrounding the images.

The story deals with Dekko, a favorite Zot! villain. (How can you not like a villain with a head shaped like the top of the Chrysler building?) McCloud often expresses frustration with his draughtsmanship, which he seems to feel is lacking, but his drawing style and overall approach works perfectly with the tone and subject matter of the Zot! stories. If you’re not familiar with Zot! you may want to get a little background on the characters before reading this strip.

After reading Zot!, you’ll want to check out McCloud’s other online comics, including The Right Number, his precedent-setting experiment with the delivery of online comics via micro-payments. (It only takes about two minutes to get your BitPass account and be ahead of the curve on how comics will be delivered in the 21st Century.)

 
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