Understanding Comics

Understanding Comics

The Invisible Art

Book - 1993
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This detail-packed book includes a history of comics that reaches back to pre-Columbian picture manuscripts and Egyptian monuments and a running analysis of comics as art, literature, and communication.
Publisher: Northampton, MA : Kitchen Sink Press, 1993
ISBN: 9780878162444
0878162445
Branch Call Number: 741.5 MCC 1993
Characteristics: 215 pages : illustrations

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mammothhawk229e
Jun 28, 2017

Surprisingly rich & complex book for a relatively young medium.
Ideal for teenagers & above.
Great art, good pace & not at all stuffy.

MirandaJo Feb 13, 2017

This informational graphic novel is about understanding graphic novels and comics. It's a wonderful introduction to understanding the ins and outs of creating and reading a comic. McCloud's graphic novel was instrumental making me interested in comics and understand them in a more serious way than my childhood memories of Calvin and Hobbes. I seriously recommend any comic or graphic novel readers to peruse this book.

AL_JOSHUAS Oct 09, 2016

This was everything my (sometimes overly) analytic mind wanted. Its like an academic article on the medium of comics in the form of a comic. I'll never read comics the same. It should be required reading for all lovers of the medium both new and old.

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maroon_chicken
Aug 08, 2016

A great analysis of a medium. I loved his six step process for creativity.

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danielestes
Jul 18, 2016

Understanding Comics might as well be Scott McCloud's magnum opus, but it's certainly not for everyone. The casual comic book reader in particular might find it too "high art" for their tastes. Here the author turns on "Developer Mode" for one of the most thorough master's class of the comic medium I've ever read. It's a mashup of Comic Theory, Analytics, Fine Art, History and Philosophy unlike any I've ever seen before.

forbesrachel May 21, 2015

Scott McCloud makes you see comics in ways you probably never even considered. The book is broken into chapters, starting with a broad definition of comics. He then moves on to more specific aspects, such as how comics portray time, the interplay of art and words, the range from realistic to iconic and how it affects our experience, and colour. To give proof to his points, he includes examples from around the world, from ancient times to the modern masters, stressing the sheer variety that comics is capable of at every turn. While there are comics for children, the format itself is not a "lesser" medium. It's words and art are in a complex dance with each other, which is in fact how he illustrates this. In his attempt to show the versatility of comics, McCloud himself shows his versatility as an artist, even going so far as to lead by example. For anyone wishing to understand comics better, or for those who wish to actually create them, this graphic novel is a must read, it gets to the heart of the underlying artform, and just as importantly, it explains why it works.

e
EricaReynolds
Dec 06, 2013

Yes it's about comics, but it's also about image and text and the magic that occurs when they are combined. Joyously, this book came out just as the Web was being created, and my path forward became clear. A classic. Highly recommended.

k
KatShellE
Jun 02, 2012

This was a wonderful introduction to the world of comics. I enjoyed that the book was in a comic format, and feel that this helped me to gain insight into the “feel” of reading a graphic text. Overall, it was an fairly easy to follow in-depth introduction to comics.

c
cartoon_goblin
Oct 19, 2010

Although I remain a huge fan of superhero and adventure comics, I’ll be the first to nod my head and pump my fist when McCloud starts Understanding Comics off by separating content from form. In other words, just like any art form (novels, poetry, film, painting, etc), comics can be about anything and shouldn’t be dismissed just because the most well-known comics so far have been people in goofy costumes beating each other up. McCloud, a comics writer and artist, has produced a book (in comics form) that completely breaks down what comics are and how they work. And if that sounds boring and intellectual, let me tell you, he does it with loads of charm, humor, excitement and wonder. He makes thinking deeply about comics fun and interesting.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough. If you love comics, this will deepen your love. If you’re one of those people who has a hard time getting into comics, this will help you understand why you can’t go into comics expecting them to be “illustrated novels.” (You may still not like comics, and that’s fine. I’m not really big on ballet. But at least you’ll understand the medium better.) And if anyone tells you comics are just silly cartoons or are inferior to novels, give them Understanding Comics to read.

c
cartoon_goblin
Oct 19, 2010

Although I remain a huge fan of superhero and adventure comics, I’ll be the first to nod my head and pump my fist when McCloud starts Understanding Comics off by separating content from form. In other words, just like any art form (novels, poetry, film, painting, etc), comics can be about anything and shouldn’t be dismissed just because the most well-known comics so far have been people in goofy costumes beating each other up. McCloud, a comics writer and artist, has produced a book (in comics form) that completely breaks down what comics are and how they work. And if that sounds boring and intellectual, let me tell you, he does it with loads of charm, humor, excitement and wonder. He makes thinking deeply about comics fun and interesting.

I can’t recommend this book highly enough. If you love comics, this will deepen your love. If you’re one of those people who has a hard time getting into comics, this will help you understand why you can’t go into comics expecting them to be “illustrated novels.” (You may still not like comics, and that’s fine. I’m not really big on ballet. But at least you’ll understand the medium better.) And if anyone tells you comics are just silly cartoons or are inferior to novels, give them Understanding Comics to read.

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bnyceb
Jun 04, 2012

bnyceb thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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DavidB
Jul 03, 2009

com-ics (kom'iks)n. plural in form, used with a singular verb. 1. Juxtaposed pictoral and other images in deliberate sequence, intended to convey information and/or to produce an aesthetic response in the viewer. 2. Superheroes in bright colourful costumes, fighting dastardly villians who want to conquer the world, in violent sensational pulse ponding action sequences! 3. Cute, cuddly bunnies, mice and roly-poly bears, dancing to and fro. Hippity-Hop, HIppity-Hop 4. Corruptor of our Nation's Youth.

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