The first half of Reinventing Comics is about the comic book industry. In particular, it's about how a number of factors have conspired to keep comics from reaching their full potential as a medium, and it's also about why the general public opinion of comics is that they're trash for kids, when in fact there are (at least) dozens of graphic novels that would give a masterpiece in any other medium a run for its money.
The second half presents McCloud's grand vision for the future: comics on the internet. Although his evaluation of the advantages and disadvantages of the net as a medium for comics is accurate and well thought out, in general McCloud is far too excited about the internet. A lot of his rhetoric sounds like things we were hearing in 1997 or so, about how the net is liberating, empowering, etc.
McCloud's previous book, Understanding Comics, was fascinating and broadly applicable; it was about how humans perceive sequences of images as progressing in time. Reinventing Comics is also fascinating, but probably to a much narrower audience: people who care about the comic book industry and its future.
copyright © 2000 John Regehr