The untapped potential of visual storytelling with Cartoonist Scott McCloud

Visual storytelling has probably been around since people have been around. Today, it dominates our storytelling. Even in our mind, we're painting our story as we frame our past and future. How we choose those frames can be revealing and powerful.

In a way, life is a series of living panels flipping from one to the next. How conscious are you of where you put the camera, what combination of images to choose, and which parts might create a page-turner? It’s these questions that visual storytellers ask themselves every day.

It’s hard to imagine someone who better understands the power of visual storytelling than Cartoonist Scott McCloud. He has been called the "Aristotle of Comics” and his non-fiction work, which details the history, vocabulary, and methods of the medium of comics— is the a Bible for visual storytellers. "Understanding Comics" has been translated into 16 languages and was named a New York Times Notable Book. He recently returned to fiction with the graphic novel, “The Sculptor” and it has been met with wide critical acclaim. Scott has lectured at Pixar, Google, and the Smithsonian Institution and I learned in our conversation that he’s also an amazingly sincere, accessible and friendly guy with an enormous attention to detail and a great story to tell.

(Image credit: Scott McCloud, music credit: The Dark Knight Rises - Hans Zimmer)

Mentioned and related media