The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe

Scott McCloud Gets an Entourage of Dancing Bears for Our Pop Quiz Interview

Welcome back to The Pop Quiz at the End of the Universe, a recurring series here on featuring some of our favorite science fiction and fantasy authors, artists, and others!

Today we’re joined by Scott McCloud, the award-winning author of Understanding Comics, Making Comics, Zot!, and many other fiction and non-fiction comics spanning 30 years. An internationally-recognized authority on comics and visual communication, technology, and the power of storytelling, McCloud has lectured at Google, Pixar, Sony, and the Smithsonian Institution.

McCloud’s latest graphic novel, The Sculptor, is the story of a desperate young artist who makes a deal with Death. Available now from First Second Books, you can read an excerpt here on

Join us as Scott finds himself accidentally part of an Internet sub-culture!

Please relate one fact about yourself that has never appeared anywhere else in print or on the Internet.

I experience ASMR; that pleasurable tingling sensation in one’s scalp, triggered by small sounds nearby, people quietly demonstrating things, and other intimate stimuli. It’s weird but kind of cool, and apparently there’s a whole Internet sub-culture built around it, including some freaky YouTube videos.

The Sculptor Scott McCloudDescribe your favorite place to read or write.

My grandfather’s Naugahyde easy chair; sadly no longer with us. More recently, a favorite place to construct stories in my head is during long familiar walks. Walking about 90 minutes a day was an important part of the plotting process for The Sculptor; especially during the four rewrites of its nearly 500 pages.

If you could choose your own personal theme music to play every time you enter a room, what would you pick?

L.O.V. by Fitz and the Tantrums, preferably accompanied by an entourage of dancing bears.

If you regenerated as a new Doctor, what would your signature outfit/accessory be?

A Kilt! And a wooden stick for pointing at things and explaining them in an irritatingly cheerful voice.

Do you have a favorite unknown author?

James Sturm is moderately well-known in comic circles, but he should be more so. I’m on a crusade to get his graphic novel Market Day read by as many people as possible.

Do you have a favorite phrase?

I love the term “half a bubble off plum,”used to describe someone ever-so-slightly crazy. Derived from a carpenter’s level.

Battle to the death, which weapon do you choose: A) Phaser, B) Lightsaber, or C) Wand?

Phaser. Distance advantage. Anyone choosing Lightsaber would look more stylish and elegant than me, but they would also be dead.


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