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McCloud in 2007
Scott McLeod (1960-06-10) June 10, 1960 (age 59) Boston, Massachusetts, United States
He established himself as a comics creator in the 1980s as an independent superhero cartoonist and advocate for creator's rights. He rose to prominence in the industry beginning in the 1990s for his non-fiction works about the medium, and has advocated the use of new technology in the creation and distribution of comics.
McCloud was born in 1960 in Boston, Massachusetts, the youngest child of Willard Wise (a blind inventor and engineer) and Patricia Beatrice McLeod, and spent most of his childhood in Lexington, Massachusetts. He decided he wanted to be a comics artist in 1975, during his junior year in high school.
During his high school years, he collaborated on comics with his schoolmate Kurt Busiek. While still teenagers, the two of them, together with fellow teenagers Christopher Bing (a 2001 Caldecott Medal winner) and Richard Howell, created the first licensed Marvel/DC crossover comic Biff! Bang! Pops!, a one-shot sold in conjunction with a 1978 Boston Pops performance of comics-themed music.
While working as a production artist at DC Comics, McCloud created the light-hearted science fiction/superherocomic book series Zot! in 1984, in part as a reaction to the increasingly grim direction that superhero comics were taking in the 1980s.
His other print comics include Destroy!! (a deliberately over-the-top, oversized single-issue comic book, intended as a parody of formulaic superhero fights), the 1998 graphic novelThe New Adventures of Abraham Lincoln (done with a mixture of computer-generated and manually drawn digital images), 12 issues writing DC Comics' Superman Adventures in the late 1990s and the 2005 three-issue series Superman: Strength, and the 2015 graphic novel The Sculptor.
Creator's Bill of Rights
McCloud was the principal author of the Creator's Bill of Rights, a 1988 document with the stated aim of protecting the rights of comic book creators and help aid against the exploitation of comic artists and writers by corporate work-for-hire practices. The group that adopted the Bill also included artists Kevin Eastman, Dave Sim, and Stephen R. Bissette. The Bill included twelve rights such as "The right to full ownership of what we fully create," and "The right to prompt payment of a fair and equitable share of profits derived from all of our creative work."
In the early 1990s, McCloud began a series of three books about the medium and business of comics, all done in comics form. The first of these was Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art, published in 1993, which established him as a popular comics theorist, described as the "Aristotle of comics" and the "Marshall McLuhan of comics". The book was a wide-ranging exploration of the definition, history, vocabulary, and methods of the medium of comics, and is widely cited in academic discussions of the medium.
In 2000, McCloud published Reinventing Comics: How Imagination and Technology Are Revolutionizing an Art Form, in which he outlined twelve "revolutions" taking place, that he argued would be keys to the growth and success of comics as a popular and creative medium.
McCloud returned to focus on the medium itself in 2006 with Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga, and Graphic Novels, an instructional guide to the process of producing comics, which he followed with a promotional lecture tour with his family of all 50 U.S. states and parts of Europe.
Beginning in the late 1990s, McCloud was an early advocate of micropayments. He was an adviser to BitPass, a company that provided an online micropayment system, which he helped launch with the publication of The Right Number, an online graphic novella priced at US$0.25 for each chapter.
McCloud maintains an active online presence on his web site where he publishes many of his ongoing experiments with comics produced specifically for the web. Among the techniques he explores is the "infinite canvas" permitted by a web browser, allowing panels to be spatially arranged in ways not possible in the finite, two-dimensional, paged format of a physical book.
Google commissioned him in 2008 to create a comic serving as the press release introducing their web browser Chrome.
McCloud lives in California. He married Ivy Ratafia in 1988, with whom he has two daughters, Sky and Winter.