Thursday, 24 January 2013

The Most Beautiful Dog in the World - a webcomic by Scott McCloud

I have been dipping into Scott McCloud's website today. As you would expect (if you have read his books on making comics) it is packed full of information and creativity. It also includes some of his webcomics.

The Right Number is an "online graphic novella" that I found a little difficult to read because every panel zooms out from the centre of the previous panel in quite a dynamic and disconcerting way. Having said that it is definitely worth a look to see what he has done with the webcomic format. Zot, another of his webcomics, is a little more traditional – apparently dating back to Scott's early online webcomic experiments.

My favourite section of the website so far is Morning Improv. Scott says on his website: "From mid-2001 to mid-2002, and again from mid-2003 to mid-2004, I spent an hour or two each morning, seven days a week, making improvisational comics, nearly all based on reader suggestions. Each improv was drawn in a different style. Some were funny. Many were weird. Most seemed to end in death." There are 26 comics in Morning Improv. I haven't read them all but the one I have enjoyed most so far is The Most Beautiful Dog in the World.

The Most Beautiful Dog in the World is very simple in its storyline and execution. Scott has chosen to draw it in a black line style of illustration that harks back to 1950s, or perhaps earlier, America. I won't give away the story but for me one of the characters behaves as you would expect from the way he is drawn and the other transcends the character conventions of the era suggested by the style and the story set-up. I think that is what makes it so subtle, clever and funny. Plus it is a little bit silly and a little bit surreal - it made me laugh out loud.

If you visit Scott McCloud's website let me know if you discover any other webcomic gems.

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