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Scott McCloud is well-known for his nonfiction comics (NFC). He has theorized how comics work and also helped describe how Chrome, Google's Web browser, works. Other artists have used NFC to great effect, such as Art Spiegelman, Will Eisner, and Joe Sacco. The dynamic combination of visual and linguistic symbolizing in comics makes it a great tool for research and argumentation, as well as narrative memoirs and fiction. Scott was generous enough to answer some questions I had about this genre of comics.

The format I've used to lay out the conversation echoes some of Scott's online comics---the panels aren't fitted together tightly on a page, but are strung together along a line. The image to the right is an excerpt of an online, non-fiction comic Scott has created. This image links to his site, where he demonstrates how these linking lines can convert a computer monitor from a 'page' to a 'window.'

In the interview below, my questions are presented in an initial dark box, followed by Scott's responses. Click the following links to view a themed segment; press the HOME key on your keyboard to jump back to the top of the page. Some segments include links to relevant pages away from the Kairos site.

Orientation and Methods

Info Design


Formats and Metadiscourse


Link to McCloud's online comics theory

First Question
Second Question
Third Question
Fourth Question
Fifth Question
Sixth Question
Seventh Question
Eighth Question
Ninth Question
Tenth Question
Eleventh Question
Twelfth Question
Lucky Question


  1. McCloud, Scott. Making Comics: Storytelling Secrets of Comics, Manga and Graphic Novels. New York: Harper, 2006.

Note about the design

For the control I wanted over the layout, it was easier for me to create image files than level up my (limited) HTML skills. Obviously this creates some complications for searching, editing, or revising the material, so I've included a text version of the interview as well. I'm grateful for the patience and help from Peg and Alexis at Kairos. Also, please note that the interview images seem to render most clearly when viewed in Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Note about the interviewer

The interviewer

I left high school with an embarrassing number of hours logged for copying pictures of Spiderman and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles in my parents' basement (where else?). After serving an LDS mission in the South Pacific islands, I started on an Associates Degree in Illustration and Graphic Design. However just before moving on to a Bachelors Degree, Julieann, my wife, asked me some insightful questions and all the answers seemed to point towards storytelling with words. So I switched tracks to English, eventually gathering a Masters Degree with an emphasis in Creative Writing. During most of that time, the bills were paid by technical writing jobs, where I got hooked on the beauties of information design. Now I'm attempting to weave all these interests into a PhD, including (hopefully) at least a section of the dissertation presented in comics format.