Ok, don't tell my wife, but yesterday I bought three books — shhh! I only intended to buy one, anything by Scott McCloud, but ended up getting three books instead.
My purchases: Reinventing comics — How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an art form, and Understanding Comics, both by McCloud. I also picked up a signed copy of Seadogs: An Epic Ocean Operetta, written by Lisa Wheeler, illustrated by Mark Siegel. I know what your thinking: "Devas T., I thought you had no interest in graphic novels." Well, I didn't. But suddenly I do.
In just the first few pages of Understanding Comics, McCloud addressed one of the main problems I've experienced with comics and graphic novels. I felt that comic books were simply cheap and crude, and surly not an artform I'd want to identify with. And in my mind, graphic novels were just an extension of that belief. The problem: my definition of comics was too narrow. According to McCloud, I wasn't alone in my limited thinking.
Using a comic book style of storytelling, McCloud opened my mind up to cartooning, or comics and offered an intelligent definition, as well as a history of comics, and more.
Comics: Juxtaposed pictorial and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or produce and aesthetic response in the viewer.
I like that! I can do that! Yes, I am a cartoonist, too!
But I won't lose my children's book illustrator hat anytime soon.