Scott McCloud @ S2F2!

I've been dying to blog about this for a while, but didn't want to jinx myself (although I don't know if the metaphysical laws of the 'jinx' applies to that which is online). One of my good friends and co-organizers of the Shanghai Student Film Festival, Mikey McKillip has been working hard to get Scott McCloud to come present at some of our schools in Shanghai, and keynote our second annual Shanghai Student Film Festival. It is no easy task to negotiate this kind of joint effort between multiple schools, but he's pulled it off.  We are so excited to have McCloud come and talk to our students.  He is best known for his non-fiction graphic novels about comics, Understanding Comics, Reinventing Comics, and Making Comics, as well as his comic series, Zot!  

If you're confused as to why we'd ask a comics artist to keynote our film festival, then its time to pick up one of his books (start with Understanding Comics).   Scott McCloud is a master visual storyteller, and much of what he says about comics can be applied to all kinds of visual literacy.  Don't be fooled into thinking that because you don't teach about comics that his work isn't relevant - his non-fiction work should be required reading of anyone who works with visual literacy.

Here's a great example.  Below is his TED Talk.  See what he has to say about the transformation of storytelling in a 'durable mutation':

He ends on a powerful note (watch the video first if you don't want me to ruin the surprise): 
The identity of the media becomes increasingly unique... when that happens you provide people with multiple ways of reentering the world through different windows and when you do that it allows them to triangulate the world they live in and see its shape.  
That statement alone reads to me like an excellent argument for arts advocacy, for isn't that what we want to do with our students?  To provide them with the skills and opportunities to express their own unique worldview in a new way through various media. 

Arts advocacy has been on my mind more than usual lately, what with our sagging global economy.  More on that soon...


  1. Frank said...
    You lucky guys!
    Do you think there is any chance of UStreaming it?
    Patricia said...
    Scott McCloud's books are brilliant!
    It is a perfect design primer easily digestible by any secondary student.
    Thanks for posting the TED Talk.
    dsgran said...
    We will indeed try to ustream the event, its something that is in the works. If so, I'll post all the relevant information on how to watch it here.
    Anonymous said...
    Congratulations your students are going to love this!
    Tim Bray said...
    Congratulations! That is very exciting news for your festival.

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