Scott McCloud comes to WashU

Finals may have been destroying my free time, but it’s never too late for me to talk about one of my favorite events that happened this year.

I am part of the exec board of WashU’s premier comic club, KaPOW. To give a little summary of what we do, we hold weekly meetings where we hang out, draw comics, and share comic recommendations to each other. We publish an anthology that’s a collection of our work every semester, and we hold caricature nights and button sales every so often. Basically, it’s a great time, and I’ve actually made most of my close friends through that club.

This year, we were lucky enough to bring Scott McCloud to campus for a talk. He is one of the most influential artists and writers of the 20th century, and be essentially redefined how comics are read and drawn through his book, Understanding Comics. In fact, he’s even known as the “Aristotle of Comics.” The club was super excited when we received the news, and we spent weeks preparing for this event, which was held two weekends ago.

As part of the PR team for KaPOW, I made flyers, advertised online, and tried to get Scott’s name everywhere. Scott himself did some PR, and we even got the Riverfront Times to post an article about it. We ended up drawing even more people than expected, with dozens coming from across St. Louis to campus just to hear Scott McCloud.

Scott McCloud himself was an amazing speaker, and I learned so much in just an hour. He talked about the way we see images, how some are successful and some aren’t, and how we can use visual language to our advantage. He was such a cool guy as well, and joked along with everyone there. We did run into some trouble at the beginning where, for some reason, the microphones and powerpoint clicker decided to start failing, but it only made the event more memorable!

We all got pictures and autographs afterwards, and as a lucky member of KaPOW exec, I had the chance to eat dinner with Scott McCloud. In fact, my suitemate (who is also part of exec) and I got to ride in his car with his wife to dinner! He and his wife were incredibly nice and hilarious throughout, and I felt truly honored to have met them. I also feel the need to brag that he really liked the flyers and art I made for all of our promotional materials.

KaPOW is not a very large club, with around 20 consistent members. I’m glad that it’s small, though, because we’ve become such a tight-knit family. I get a chance to hang out with my friends while still drawing and publishing work, and it’s one of my favorite parts of WashU. This was the first year we’ve gotten such a high-profile speaker, and I hope that we keep growing in the years to come.